2014 Rivertown Revelations-Sleepy Hollow

Rivertown Revelations 2014What Your Village is Working On.

Sleepy Hollow

Closed since 1996 and dismantled in 2000, the site of the former Riverfront GM plant is once again reported to have prospective buyers. According to New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the site is no longer a “Brownfield” and
all cleanup issues have been completed as of November 2013.

The New Jersey Developer, Roseland, worked with GM for several years and proposed a development that included a large mixed-use area of residential, office, and retail space plus a new train station. The current Sleepy Hollow Administration did not want to speculate on the reasons why Roseland pulled out of its deal with GM in 2007. According to an August 2008 correction in the New York Times, “Roseland cited increasing costs associated with environmental restoration and a lack of agreement with the
Village of Sleepy Hollow on a final plan; it did not cite the cost of environmental cleanup of the GM Site itself.”

Sleepy Hollow approved a special permit for the multi-use site in June 2011. However, litigation by the Village of Tarrytown prevented any action until a settlement was reached in September of 2013. With the special permit use reissued, General Motors was able to move forward with its plan to pick a development team for the redevelopment project.

At the January 7th Village Board meeting Mayor Ken Wray announced that: “General Motors has reached an agreement with a developer to move forward on the former GM factory site located in Sleepy Hollow. The developer is in partnership with Diversified Realty Advisors, a New Jersey-based, east coast real estate company and SunCal, a California-based real estate developer with a nationwide portfolio. He stated that, “We look forward to working closely with them in the coming months.”

The founding and co-managing partner of Diversified Realty Advisors, Jonathan D. Stein, was an executive with former developer, Roseland Property. This prior association should provide continuity to the future redevelopment as Mr. Stein is familiar with all the former issues pertaining to this project.

In 2007-2008 there were many unknown factors that kept this project stalled. With the special permit now in effect, DEC approval for the site in place, and amenity packages for the community negotiated, Sleepy Hollow Administrator Anthony Giaccio commented, “We are farther along than ever before.” The next steps include submission of a site plan application by the developers to the Planning Board sometime after March of this year.

At the January 7th Board meeting, the resignations of the zoning inspector and parking enforcer were accepted. The zoning inspector was offered a more lucrative position at another municipality and the parking enforcer ended the part-time employment. Both positions are filled by the Mayor and Board of Trustees. They are considering expansion of the zoning inspector position due to the potential GM redevelopment project.

The Village Trustees also authorized Dolph Rotfeld Engineering to solicit bids for an emergency generator to be installed at the James Galgano Senior Center. The planned purpose of this generator is in response to the widespread power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy, the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. After that storm, half the Village was out of power. With this generator in place, the Senior Center can be used as a shelter in the event of any future disasters. The permanent natural gas generator is expected to cost about $40,000 and will be funded by the Village out of the Capital Fund.

 

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