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Thread: Renewal and Resistance in Yonkers

  1. #31

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    January 29, 2009


    Laid-off police returning to jobs in Yonkers

    Len Maniace
    The Journal News

    YONKERS - Eleven city police officers laid off at the end of last year are headed back to work because of savings from police retirements and reduced overtime costs. The laid-off officers are expected to pick up badges and equipment today and will go back to work as early as tomorrow, mayoral spokesman David Simpson said yesterday.


    The reinstatement means that 71 of 76 full-time city employees whose layoffs were announced by Mayor Phil Amicone in mid-December have been hired back. In all cases except for the returning police, the reinstatements were accomplished through union givebacks. Of 75 part-time city workers laid off, only seven have been rehired, Simpson said.


    Before the cuts, Amicone said the city was projecting a $16 million deficit for the fiscal year that ends June 30.


    "We're not out of the woods yet," Simpson said. "But the mayor has always said a decision to bring back the laid-off police officers would be based on the effectiveness of the overtime measures and the availability of cash flow." To curtail overtime, repeatedly cited as a trouble spot by state and city officials, Police Commissioner Edmond Hartnett ordered officers from several special units, including those based at eight Yonkers public schools, to report to the city's four precincts to fill what otherwise would have been overtime shifts.


    The decision to bring back the officers was made yesterday after Amicone met with Hartnett and city Finance Commissioner James LaPerche, Simpson said, and was not related to an appearance at Tuesday night's City Council meeting by Eddie Armour, president of the Yonkers Police Benevolent Association, and union members.
    At that meeting, Armour said the police retirements had saved enough money to rehire the officers. He also cited a series of crimes at city schools: nine assaults, six weapons and a total of 24 crime reports taken in the schools since the beginning of the year after the removal of the school-based police.


    But both Simpson and Yonkers public schools spokeswoman Jerilynne Fierstein insisted there had been no increase in crime at the schools. Fierstein said there had been 13 police incidents for the district's 39 schools in January, the identical figure for the same period last year.


    Armour said yesterday that the union would not comment on the apparent contradiction until the laid-off officers went back to work.


    Police overtime for the past four weeks is down 40 percent from earlier figures, Simpson said, suggesting the department's efforts to eliminate overtime by moving police from special units is working. He cautioned, however, that the one-month period may not be long enough to make long-range projections.


    On average, the 19 retiring officers made significantly more than the 11 relatively junior police who were laid off. Excluding overtime, the salary and benefits cost for the retired officers averaged $144,000 compared with $117,200 for the laid-off officers. Simpson made a point of criticizing the police union yesterday, saying the PBA "was the only union that didn't at least attempt to cooperate with management here in order to try and save some of their members."



    journalnews@2009
    http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a...=2009901290450
    Last edited by tommyguy; January 30th, 2009 at 01:02 PM. Reason: add link

  2. #32

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    January 30, 2009


    Yonkers waterfront developer pulls out

    Len Maniace
    The Journal News

    YONKERS - The leading developer involved in the city's waterfront revival effort - a proposal for 3,752 apartments, commercial development and 17 acres of new public open space - has dropped its portion of the project. City and private officials, however, said yesterday that they believed the departure of Homes for America wouldn't jeopardize redevelopment of the Alexander Street Corridor.

    Homes for America owned 30 acres, which was turned over to its lender after the company failed to make sufficient progress on the development by a Dec. 31 deadline, Chief Executive Robert MacFarlane said. The entire corridor contains 153 acres. The company's plan, known as Point Street Landing, contained four apartment towers and had advanced further than any put forward by the corridor's property owners.
    MacFarlane blamed a lengthy review process in the state for the missed deadlines. He also acknowledged that the nation's frozen credit markets played a role, saying the lender may have granted an extension in better times. The company owed $97 million because of the missed deadlines, he said.

    "We think everyone's opinion and voice must be heard - that's the American way - but that it takes this long to hear everyone's voice needs to be improved," said MacFarlane, whose Yonkers- based company has built high-rise housing in Florida and a Yonkers office building several years ago. MacFarlane said the company bought the land in 2005. He presented the development plan to the city in late 2006.

    Unlike another major developer in Yonkers, MacFarlane did not publically discuss the deadlines he faced, though he said he had notified city officials. In contrast, officials with Struever Fidelco Cappelli had widely publicized the deadline it faced in getting a major environmental approval for its $1.6 billion downtown plan in the fall.

    Though Homes for America is out of the picture, a former company executive said he is working to continue the project with the New York City real estate fund that financed Homes for America's development effort. The lender would not be identified by MacFarlane or Daniel Tartaglia, who had been Homes for America's senior vice president. "This is definitely going ahead," said Tartaglia, adding that the project's public open space would not be reduced.

    Converting the former industrial district into an attractive mixed-use waterfront community is a complex task. The site contains industrial contamination, antiquated infrastructure and has more than two dozen owners. The city's plan for the corridor came under public criticism a year ago for creating a "wall of high rises" along the waterfront. A scaled- down plan issued in the summer, however, won public support.
    An environmental review for redevelopment of the entire corridor won a key approval in November, but others are needed. City Planning and Development Commissioner Louis Kirven said he hopes that would happen in the spring.

    The nation's credit difficulties are a problem for many developers. Faced with many defaults, lenders are far more selective in making loans, said Jim Fitzgerald, president of the North Atlantic region of Wachovia Bank. "Banks are willing to lend, but it is harder to get the loan," he said. "The criteria, and the returns they are seeking to compensate for the risk, are clearly tighter."

    Homes for America's departure worried some residents. Terry Joshi, a leader of Yonkers Committee for Smart Development worried that open space and other amenities would be curtailed. "I feel they understood community concerns and they are among the more conscientious developers," Joshi said of Homes for America. Kirven said he believed Point Street Landing would be built once the economy improved and lenders began to make loans. "When they do, they are going to be looking for the best projects and this is clearly one of the best in the region." Kirven said.

    Last edited by tommyguy; January 30th, 2009 at 08:22 PM. Reason: rejoin text

  3. #33

  4. #34

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    March 2, 2009
    Going Places - Ken Valenti

    Rail car plant keeps city on a roll

    YONKERS -

    I can take a hint.

    I and several other reporters got a tour of the Kawasaki Rail Car plant on the Yonkers waterfront Friday, where subway cars stood up on stands, some with plastic wrap on them to keep them clean. Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chief Executive Elliott Sander, Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone and some others took a tour of the factory, where subway and rail cars are assembled.

    The message was clear: New York City subway cars and other MTA "rolling stock," as the cars are called, are made here in the U.S.A. So the funds that Albany sends to the MTA for capital projects will go to jobs here, many of them in the state. Akira Hattori, president of Kawasaki Rail Car, said the Yonkers plant employs 450 workers. A Lincoln, Neb., plant that makes the shells of the cars employs 400. When you add in the subcontractors and suppliers, Hattori said, you could be talking about 10,000 jobs.


    Kawasaki Rail Car Inc.'s plant on the Yonkers waterfront.
    Mayor Phil Amicone said the plant has been a mainstay on
    the Hudson River even as the city's waterfront was struggling.
    The plant employs 450 workers.
    (Matthew Brown/The Journal News)


    I asked Sander why the tour was planned, and he said it was "something I've been doing anyway," and that he was happy to have us along, feeling it was useful for the media to see. And hey, I'm not arguing. I like watching as the rail cars are put together, and sitting there looking so pristine you expect packing beads to pour out of the open doors.

    This comes, though, in the same week the MTA leaders traveled to Albany to press for funding. It comes as everyone is looking for a piece of the federal stimulus pie. (And, hey, $787 billion is a lot of pastry.) It also comes as MTA leaders are pressing for rescue measures outlined by the Ravitch Commission - a tax on all employers in the MTA region of 33 cents per $100 of payroll, plus tolls on four East River and Harlem River bridges that are now free to cross.

    Some transit advocates support the Ravitch recommendations, and Gov. David Paterson has proposed legislation that pretty much mirrors the suggestions, our Albany bureau reports. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has proposed a compromise that would keep the tolls on the bridges that are now free to $2, lower than Ravitch recommended. The payroll tax idea has met with some resistance. In Rockland, for instance, County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef has come out against it.

    You can expect the Legislature to be hashing out the ideas this week.

    Before the tour on Friday, Hattori and Sander engaged in a bit of mutual praise, with the Kawasaki bigwig thanking the MTA for its patronage and Sander crediting Hattori's company with playing a role in improving MTA services over the years. "We are particularly pleased with the quality of work you have done," Sander told Hattori. "That means the world to us." He also mentioned the visits to state legislators. "We hope that we'll have a little bit of success up in Albany," Sander said. With that, he said, "we will be able to continue this success story for the future."

    Most immediately, the MTA is facing a $1.2 billion operating deficit. And that could worsen. The MTA's top money guy, Gary Dellaverson, said recently that declining ridership and a short in real estate transaction taxes point to a possible growth of the deficit by $650 million. MTA officials have stressed that Dellaverson's comment came up in an informal, though public, conversation - it is not yet part of the agency's official budget forecast.

    Train and subway cars come as part of the capital plan, which is budgeted over five years. New York City Transit, an MTA division, is having 1,662 of the R160 cars manufactured at a cost of about $2.8 billion, MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said. (That includes the trains and some extras - spare cars, test equipment, special tools needed for the cars, training to operate and maintain them, and manuals.) Some of the bodies will be built by Kawasaki, the rest by Alstom Transportation Inc. in Hornell, N.Y. But all of them will use Kawasaki wheel trucks that are being assembled and joined to the cars in Yonkers, Donovan said. Though the 2010-14 capital plan has not yet been written, Sander has estimated that it will be $30 billion, Donovan said.

    But if some are worried that the tax would cost jobs, the message yesterday was that money to the MTA supports jobs - in addition to keeping the transit giant rolling as it moves 8.5 million people a day.

    Amicone said the plant has been a mainstay on the Hudson River even as the city's waterfront was struggling. The mayor said he always likes it when he sees police out helping direct traffic to guide the delivery of another rail car to the plant for finishing because it's a tangible sign that work is going on.

    At the plant, Port Authority Trans-Hudson, or PATH, cars and R160 subway cars for New York City Transit sat up on stands. The shells of the cars are put together in the Nebraska plant, then shipped to Yonkers to be completed, said Michael Doyle, an executive vice president with Kawasaki Rail Car. On one stand, the guts were being assembled underneath the car. Wheel trucks are assembled. The interior is finished, and it's all inspected, with little yellow slips of paper marking parts that need to be checked again.

    The 300 new M8 cars coming for Metro-North Railroad's New Haven Line are being built by Kawasaki but not in Yonkers. They mostly will be put together in Lincoln, then shipped to the New Haven yard, where finishing touches will be put on them. The railroad is expected to get the first of those cars later this year and to continue receiving them through 2012.

    Last edited by tommyguy; March 2nd, 2009 at 04:03 PM. Reason: clarity

  5. #35
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    Any interesting projects going on in Yonkers , i saw they redeveloped the Waterfront area...

  6. #36
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    Some of my Yonkers pictures from October...


    DSC07864 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    DSC07867 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    DSC07880 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    DSC07886 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    DSC07895 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    DSC07914 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    DSC07934 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    DSC07936 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


  7. #37
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Abandoned Power Plant on the Hudson River to Become Hotel, Convention Center


    Glenwood Power Plant in Yonkers. (June Marie / Flickr)

    It has been nearly five decades since the Glenwood Power Plant in Yonkers, New York closed its doors, but developer Ron Shemesh has plans to transform this four-building complex on the Hudson into a hotel and convention center. The Wall Street Journal reported that Mr. Shemesh, a plastics manufacturer from the area, bought the property from investor Ken Capolino for $3 million. The project will be costly, however. Mr. Shemesh will need to raise around $155 million to redevelop the plant. In December, the Mid-Hudson Economic Development Council gave Mr. Shemesh a small economic boost with a $1 million grant to preserve the sprawling complex.


    (urban archaeology / Flickr)


    (ChristopherTitzer / Flickr)


    (Nate Dorr / Flickr)


    (ChristopherTitzer / Flickr)


    (Nate Dorr / Flickr)


    (Nate Dorr / Flickr)

    http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/archives/53408

  8. #38
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    It looks like it could have possibilities, but that all depends on the condition of the structure.

    Masonry does not hold up very well if it is left uncared for for too long... The steel looks OK, but the lower level looks a little deteriorated. If the foundations and the lower level steel is OK, they have a possible good base for this....

  9. #39

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    That could be an incredibly beautiful building once fixed up. If it is structurally sound, whoever gets it will be lucky.

  10. #40
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    It looks like the set of a Terminator / Batman / RoboCop movie

  11. #41
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    Some Photos ive found of the recently completed Downtown Park...


    samsebeskazal-02245.jpg by samsebeskazal, on Flickr


    samsebeskazal-02274.jpg by samsebeskazal, on Flickr


    samsebeskazal-02275.jpg by samsebeskazal, on Flickr


    samsebeskazal-02279.jpg by samsebeskazal, on Flickr


    samsebeskazal-02282.jpg by samsebeskazal, on Flickr

  12. #42
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    Saw Mill River Daylighting...


    054 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    056 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    057 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    058 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    059 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    060 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    063 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    064 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    065 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    067 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    068 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    039 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    084 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    083 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

  13. #43

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    Last Sunday




  14. #44
    Forum Veteran Newarkguy's Avatar
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    Any opinions as to how much larger (denser) and taller Yonkers might be had NYC's Mayor Fiorello La Guardia annexed it in the 1930's?.

  15. #45
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    There would be more subsidized housing for sure.

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