To understand the planning behind the revitalization of Tarrytown’s post-industrial waterfront, it is necessary to look at Greenwich, Connecticut-based National RE/sources.
Since its inception in 1996 the Company has defined its mission as developing environmentally impaired real estate. Its efforts have been acknowledged by the Westchester League of Conservation Voters and also by Scenic Hudson who honored the Company with a "Spirit of the River Award" in 2001.
For the past nine years National RE/sources, under its President Joseph Cotter, has maintained a fairly constant presence within the Village of Tarrytown. With the acquisition of four adjoining properties formally owned by Penske, Barrier Oil, Perk-Up and County Asphalt, the Company had a 30-acre site complete with waterfront. As Mr. Cotter was quick to point out, that part was relatively easy compared to what lay ahead. Initial plans for the parcel included a large supermarket, a multiplex theatre complex and apartment rental units, all of which met with resistance from the public and officials alike. Current plans reflect the knowledge gained from past mistakes and reveal the importance of a coordinated effort between the Village and National RE/sources.
"We have dramatically changed the sense of arrival," Mr. Cotter said. That arrival comes from crossing over the H Bridge and proceeding towards the waterfront. What has been planned for Ferry Landings is a sense of remaining in the Village with single and two story buildings. There will be a restaurant which will be two stories with a deck and views over the marina. Also, a single story clubhouse for the pool that will serve the residents and a green with views to the Hudson River. Retail stores will be one story as well. In short, everything has been planned so that Ferry Landings will not simply loom ahead of one entering it. Rather it will be inviting on a human scale offering different amenities in a random manner. Nothing has been designed to look too monolithic.
Residences will total 238, none of which will be rental apartments. All will be privately owned. Within that number, ninety-nine 3 story townhouses will be for sale along with one hundred thirty-nine condominiums. There will be 15,000 sq. feet of retail space with an additional 5,000 sq. ft. approved for a potential rooftop restaurant. The retail space has intentionally been scaled back so as not to compete with the businesses on Main Street and Broadway.
Talks have taken place with the Tarrytown Boat Club and National RE/sources to create a synergy between the two properties. The possibility of creating more boat slips and possibly dredging the entrance to the marina have been discussed. In addition, there will be a waterfront park of approximately fifteen acres that has all the earmarks of becoming a destination for people outside the Village. Scenic Hudson, Westchester County and the Village of Tarrytown have combined their energies and resources to create not only a walking trail but points of interest within the park itself. "We understand that the County is proposing funding of $1,500,000 to deal with their traditional river walk. Scenic Hudson is funding approximately $1,000,000 to create points of interest within the park and along the shore. The Village is looking to New York State for help in rebuilding the active recreation component of the park like the tennis and basketball courts," Cotter said. National RE/sources will build a $5,000,000 acquatic center for the Village which will be 27,000 sq. ft., designed to offer competitive swimming in addition to recreational swimming.
The actual building footprint for Ferry Landings will utilize 30% of the available space. National RE/sources is proud of the fact that the project will be relatively low density and low height. "We think it will be an attractive place for people to live," Cotter added. The task at hand now is to implement the plan. Once the County gives approval to connect to a sewer line that runs through the property, work can begin. Sometime in October seems a likely starting point.
Ferry Landings will have a profound effect on Tarrytown, according to Mr. Cotter. "I have genuinely wanted a good project, and over the years we have refreshed and redesigned our plans," he said. He had complimentary words for current Mayor, Drew Fixell, and applauded his attention to detail. Tarrytown’s Planning Board Chairman Stanley Friedlander also played an integral part for the past nine years. "Stanley always wanted to see a park on the waterfront &emdash; one that would energize the community. I think the legacy of this project will be the park and recreational opportunities on the waterfront," Cotter added.