East Parcel of Former GM Site Goes to Local Development Corp as New LDC Members are Named

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| by Robert Kimmel |

Financial advantages accrue to Sleepy Hollow by having a Local Development Corporation, (LDC), maintain ownership of the east parcel of the former 96-acre GM site, which was turned over to the village in the deal that opened the way for development of the larger riverfront parcels for residential and commercial use.

New York State mandates that municipalities hire separate contractors for the various aspects of construction projects; however, the LDC avoids that restriction. By hiring just one overall contractor, rather than a variety of contractors, to work on the construction of a potential Department of Public Works building and other facilities, including some for sports activities, on the east section, the Sleepy Hollow LDC could save up to 20% of the costs, according to village estimates.

With the LDC arrangement, plans call for the village ultimately to gain ownership of the parcel. Bonds issued by the LDC to finance construction and maintenance of the structures on the east parcel would be paid off by the LDC through the income gained by its leasing the facilities to the village. Deeds to the land would be turned back to the village at a future date. The parcel lies to the east of the railroad tracks.

The LDC membership is composed mostly of local residents with special expertise, following Mayor Ken Wray’s removal of five village trustees from its board. The mayor disclosed in June that he had removed the trustees because its operation would have been “compromised,” presumably because of their lack of skills needed for its functions. Wray, who remains an “ex-officio” member of the board, stated that the trustees “did not have the needed expertise.”

Wray named five new members: David Schroedel, a former Sleepy Hollow Village Trustee; Anthony Scarpati, a CPA; Hamisher Bell, a local businessman; Michael Dawley, who has a senior position at Goldman Sachs, and Teresa Oeste-Villavieja, who, the mayor said, “works for a firm in the city that does a lot of work in major construction contracts.”

The 65-acre project now known as Edge-On-Hudson, will be divided into “three distinct districts,” according to Peter Johnson of SunCal, co-owner of the development. Among the residential units planned will be “about 200 town houses, 540 condominiums and 450 apartments,” Johnson stated at a dedication of the site in June which also celebrated the Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse. In addition, there is a 140 room hotel and 135,000 square feet of retail construction anticipated for the site as well as 35,000 square feet of office space.

Jonathan Stein, of Diversified Realty Advisors, LLC, the other co-owner, noted that there will be “a huge amount of open space” within the development. That space is expected to envelope 24 acres of “parks and gardens.” Stein said that work on the site’s infrastructure could begin before the end of the year if “all goes well” with the Sleepy Hollow Planning Board’s review of the Site Plan and Subdivision Approvals for the project.

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