Sleepy Hollow to Benefit from East Parcel of Former GM Site

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The “East Parcel” on the GM site in Sleepy Hollow. (photo by Robert Kimmel)

Hemmed in by Metro North railroad tracks on its western side, and Kings-land Point Park and the Pocantico River to the north, a 28-acre plot of land known as the “East Parcel” will become a valuable asset for the Village of Sleepy Hollow if all goes as planned. That is the widely accepted assessment of the Sleepy Hollow Local Development Corporation (LDC), owner of the land which was formerly part of the General Motors site along the Hudson River.

GM used the parcel primarily as a parking area for more than 2,000 employees and a storage place for newly built vehicles before it closed its plant in 1996.

The Local Development Corporation was formed primarily to secure ownership of the property from GM in order to avoid future costs for contractors imposed by NY state rules on construction by municipalities. General Motors gave the parcel to the LDC as part of the village’s “special permit” that allowed the auto company to sell an adjacent 65 acres of its former site to Lighthouse Landing Venture LLC, the company building Edge-on-Hudson, a mixed use development that will include 1,177 residential units, plus commercial space.

In order to build a planned Sleepy Hollow Department of Public Works facility on the parcel, along with athletic fields and possibly a new garage for the Tarrytown School District, the LDC must bring the ground level for some portions of the site higher by as much as four to five feet, “to mitigate flooding on the new facilities,” according to its chairman, David Schroedel. By coincidence, a major portion of base fill, some 100,000 cubic yards of it, is likely to come to the LDC, “at virtually no cost,” Schroedel said.

Working through the State Department of Environmental Control, the LDC is arranging for a carter who illegally dumped that volume of fill in Yonkers, and must shortly remove it, to haul it to the East Parcel. The fill, mostly concrete building material, will be crushed on site at the carter’s expense. Given the cost of fill per cubic yard, Schroedel stated, “The potential savings in this opportunity are quite significant, perhaps reducing costs by well over one million dollars.” Some estimates place the saving even higher.

Members of the LDC and village officials and environmental consultants were on hand at the adjacent parcel in December to witness a crusher in action, and sound tests were conducted on site and nearby residential areas to determine whether the level of noise the apparatus makes is acceptable. While many truckloads of concrete fill will be carted to the site, village officials note that whether it was in solid concrete form or pre-crushed, it would still require truck passage through village streets.

An LDC member on scene, Anthony Scarpati, said the crusher sound apparently was within acceptable noise limits. A distance of some 50 feet away from the crusher, sound levels registered at about 60 decibels. Another machine, Scarpati noted, would be used to hammer concrete bars into smaller pieces for placement into the crusher. The LDC plans to test that as well. He also noted that the space in which the base fill is located in Yonkers, “would not facilitate the crushing of the concrete segments” coming into the East Parcel.

A source of revenue for the LDC is expected from a transaction with Metro North for its use of a sliver of east parcel land on which it has siding tracks that go back to when GM shipped it cars by rail. Metro North is expected to reimburse the LDC a sizable amount of “arrears” for land use from the time the LDC obtained the parcel from GM.

All such revenue secured by the LDC will accrue to the future advantage of the village. The LDC will be raising money, mostly by issuing bonds, to pay for preparation of the site, construction of the DPW facility and other resources on the site, and will lease those facilities to the village and other users at cost. Whatever money the LDC raises or saves will reduce its borrowing, and in turn, lessen the future costs to the village and potentially the school district.

On the west parcel of the site, the Edge-on-Hudson developer intends to crush all the existing concrete slabs on the property prior to beginning its first phase of construction. It is also negotiating with the new bridge builders, Tappan Zee Constructors, to use some 250,000 cubic yards of concrete debris from the old bridge to use as fill to raise the ground level on its site. The concrete would be barged to the site.

Sleepy Hollow’s Board of Trustees, as of this report, is considering a request from the bridge builders to use a part of the Edge-on-Hudson site for “parking up to 375 vehicles and ferry service” for its construction personnel working on the bridge. The workers would have access to the parking area from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday , until June 30, 2017. Many now park on a yet undeveloped portion of the Hudson Harbor site in Tarrytown and at the hotel parking in that village.

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