Move over Main Street. Residents might see 19 new residential units and 4,000 square feet of new retail, restaurant and other business space along Bridge Street.
Of course, all of this talk is preliminary, but last month, the Irvington Village Board took one more step towards making such a plan a reality after it signed a contract with Buckhurst, Fish & Jacquemart, a planning consultant in New York City. The consultant is expected to review a rezoning proposal filed by Bridge Street Properties, LLC, in February.
Currently, areas along the waterfront are in the Industrial (I) zone. Bridge Street would like the Village to rezone a portion of the 9.06 acres (between Matthiessen Park to the north and Scenic Hudson Park to the south) it owns along the waterfront.
"The current zoning does not permit what they want to do down there," Village Administrator Larry Schopfer said in a recent interview. Currently, Bridge Street owns three buildings totaling 200,000 square feet of office space. Specifically, Bridge Street is asking the Board to rezone three acres (a 1/2-acre of which is under water) into a Mixed-Use (MU) zone. The area consists of a 251-space parking lot and 3,000 square feet of commercial space.
The proposed residential units would be “Georgetown-style” brick town houses with built-in garages on the ground level, according to a proposal filed by Bridge Street’s attorney, John Marwell, of Shamberg Marwell Davis & Hollis, P.C. in Mount Kisco.
“The townhouses will be in harmony with the type of housing found along Main Street, and [Bridge Street Properties] believes that the result would be aesthetically pleasing to the public, especially in comparison with the existing asphalt parking lot,” Marwell said. The commercial space would be located on the ground level in one of the buildings facing West Main Street, and could include stores, restaurants, art galleries and fitness clubs.
Bridge Street also proposes constructing a parking structure that would provide the same amount of parking that exists now. In the proposal, Marwell claims the development would bring in an additional $600,000 in village ratables and would have a minimal impact on the school system because of the low-density residential component. He also said the developer would conduct a $1.5 million rehabilitation project improving roads and sidewalks to provide better access to the parks.
Marwell also said that Bridge Street would provide public parking on weekends and evenings, provide a public waterfront promenade and create a destination point in itself. In the proposal, Marwell claimed that Bridge Street’s proposal is part and parcel to the Village’s revised Comprehensive Plan approved in 2003, in which the governing body expressed a desire to alter the Industrial zone into a Mixed-Use zone.
In an interview, Schopfer confirmed Marwell’s claim, but said the comprehensive plan doesn’t discuss the type of business or housing desired by the Village.
The governing body passed along Bridge Street’s proposal to the Planning Board for its review. In April, the Planning Board issued its report and requested further details. The board requested a full traffic study, more details on the parking structure, details on the sewer system, and the development’s impact on the view from various locations. It also wanted further details on who would own the various structures after Bridge Street develops them.
“None of these appear to be significant enough to preclude further discussion,” Acting Planning Board Chairman William Hoffman said in the report.
He also wrote, “As a final point, one of our members Mr. [Maurice] Wasserman wanted it known he believes this project will provide significant improvement to the existing village waterfront with respect to appearance and public use.”
Schopfer said it would be a few months before the planning consultant returned with its recommendations to the Village Board.