| by Robert Kimmel |
Created about a year ago, the Sleepy Hollow Local Development Corporation is looking at a number of potential projects in the village, but its most immediate task deals with the land it acquired from GM at the automaker’s former riverfront site. The east parcel, as it is known, was designated for village use in the agreement that permitted GM to sell its vacated 96 acre property to a developer.
The Sleepy Hollow Local Development Corporation, (LDC) was created to accept ownership of the parcel rather than having it go directly to the village, consequently freeing it from certain building restrictions imposed by New York State on municipalities. For example, the LDC could save an estimated 15% of future building costs by hiring one overall contractor, rather than have several or more deal with the varied aspects of future construction on the parcel, as required by municipalities.
“The major items to be constructed there include a new Department of Public Works facility, as well as several recreation-related facilities, as yet to be determined,” LDC Chairman David Schroedel said. However, before any anticipated construction, the board must initiate, “the requisite environmental review process, (SEQRA), for the entire east parcel,” he noted.
Schroedel expects that to begin during the fall, and to be completed within six to nine months, “and for initial construction to begin within six to nine months of that date.”
With its next meeting scheduled for October 5, the board is exploring a wide range of topics, according to Schroedel. These include the “role it can play in supporting local development through bond financing of eligible projects,” he added.
The Chairman said that the LDC is “also responsible for determining the fate of the old viaduct, which provided the major access point to the old GM parking lot, “ which comprised the east parcel. Schroedel explained that it is in “serious disrepair, and cannot be used as an access point for our existing DPW fleet, as the trucks are too heavy.” It may be removed completely as a matter of public safety, he stated. The Board, he said, is “…examining the viability of building a bridge from the east parcel, over the Metro North tracks, to the west parcel.” It would be a “possible means to provide better access to and from the new west parcel for public safety and traffic mitigation.”
Additional projects that the board is working on throughout Sleepy Hollow include the potential development of new, affordable housing supported by the SHLDC, Schroedel said. He stated he was confident that with those other projects targeted even while the east parcel is undergoing environmental review and cleanup, “…residents will see positive things happening very quickly.”
Mayor Ken Wray is an ex-officio member of the SHLDC, and he replaced its initial members earlier this year with Schroedel, a former trustee, Anthony Scarpati, Michael Dawley, and Teresa Oeste-Villaviaja, all of whom he said had the varied skills necessary for its function.
The larger, 65-acre section of the former GM site is being turned into a mixed use development, Edge on Hudson, with town houses, condominiums, apartments, retail and office space as well as a small hotel.