By Robert Kimmel—
During a recent optimistic appraisal of the progress Sleepy Hollow is making on several fronts, Mayor Ken Wray described two projects as “very important” to the village.
Speaking at a virtual meeting of the Rotary Club of the Tarrytowns, Wray named Edge-on-Hudson and the Village Common as the defined ventures.
While noting setbacks caused by the pandemic, Wray said he was “looking forward to things getting back to normal in Sleepy Hollow.” He said more than 17% of the village has been infected by the COVID-19 virus.
“The Common will be the first time we have a central place to bring together the Village of Sleepy Hollow, physically, in the middle of the village,” Wray said. “This is a project to tie all of the neighborhoods of the village together.”
The Village Common is planned on a 28-acre site on the east side of the railroad tracks, formerly part of the GM plant location. A community center, an outdoor amphitheater, recreational facilities, and a “great lawn” are among the initial plans for the location.
“New athletic fields, soccer fields with lights, coming online in a year-and-a-half or two years,” Wray noted. “Baseball fields, paddle tennis courts.”
“New infrastructure, and on to the east side of the tracks, we’ll be moving our DPW off of River Street. New infrastructure, and the DPW will be lifted out of harm’s way when the waterfront floods,” the mayor continued, noting the move also releases land on the riverfront.
Wray said the village will be increasing its passive parkland along Devries Park. Devries Park extends across the Pocantico to the bridge that goes across Metro North into Kingsland Point Park.
As for Edge-on-Hudson, Wray emphasized the many benefits of the project, including increased property taxes to the village. The GM plant had brought $149,000 in taxes annually, but as Edge-on-Hudson is developed that amount will rise significantly.
“It’s a huge difference in economics,” Wray said. “The plant site is going to incorporate almost 1,200 new homes, a hotel, retail and other commercial space. Right now, it’s in its first two phases. Mix of rentals, condos and townhouses.”
He said townhouses at Edge-on-Hudson went on the market for $1 million and are now selling for $2.2 million. Rental units are also available and ready for occupancy in the fall. DeCicco is opening a supermarket on the property as well.
“Financially, regarding the Edge-on-Hudson, the village adopted our budget,” Wray said. “The village adopted a 0% tax increase for homestead, and 4% increase for non-homestead, (commercial) properties. As we look at our Comprehensive Plan, and increase development in the downtown, we look at the tax allocations. Having more commercial helps maintain the balance of taxes so that it’s not all on residential homes.”
According to Wray, the village is being attentive to downtown zoning, “Focusing on lower parking requirements, and other areas where we could encourage more investment in our downtown.”
He said the village was completing another portion of the RiverWalk that will allow people to connect up into Rockwood State Park and fixing up a traffic island for Sleepy Hollow.
With the addition of what is expected to be 3,000 residents, Wray anticipated “Traffic is going to increase, but there are two things that are very important. Sleepy Hollow wants to build a bridge across the tracks, just north of the location of where the old escalator crossed the tracks from GM to the tracks. The reason is because of the past flooding of River Street so that emergency vehicles can get back and forth. This would come down in the middle of The Common. We’re also going to put in a new road from Beekman down to The Common, where the old UAW is.”
“We don’t want people to drive 200 yards to the train station. We are working to have a shuttle that will loop through Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, so you can get there and back home again,” he said. “The developer is going to be required to have this operating this fall.”