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Pelham board reviewing proposals for developing village properties downtown

Ray Beeler architect, Gallin Beeler Design Studio

Ray Beeler architect, Gallin Beeler Design Studio

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Privately held real estate company Collins Enterprises LLC proposed a $57 million plan for an apartment building and commuter parking for village-owned downtown sites during the Sept. 25 village board meeting. The project also envisions moving village hall and working with Pelham to determine what to do about the existing firehouse.

“Village facilities are outdated and old,” said Collins in a Powerpoint on its proposal. “Modernizing, and adding facilities like parking will benefit the village residents.”

In March, the Village of Pelham put out a request for proposals for the village properties. The first project, which envisions 140 apartments, was submitted by letter in April by JMF Properties and will be reviewed by the Pelham Board of Trustees on Tuesday.

Mayor Michael Volpe said he hopes a change in the area will be positive for Pelham residents. “The aging infrastructure costs us tens of thousands each year, and the added commercial space in a new development coupled with added parking and municipal improvements could be a great benefit,” he said.

In the Collins project, the northern site on Fifth Avenue would include the construction of 100 apartments in four levels over 80 covered parking spaces. Apartments would range in size from studio to multi-bedroom and rent from $2,700 to $6,000, Collins said. The company plans to target singles and couples looking to downsize as well as professionals working out of the city or throughout Westchester. The apartment development would also include 3,000 square feet of retail space on Fifth Avenue. Collins said it would assist the village in determining  what to do about the existing fire station on the site.

Collins will employ Do Chung & Partners as the design architect, the same organization responsible for the contemporary tudor style at Marbury Corners on First Avenue.

“Our proposal is community oriented and providing uses that the village and the region needs, which is in-town housing,” the Powerpoint said of the northern portion.

The southern site off Wolfs Lane and Sparks Avenue emphasizes parking and moving village hall and the department of public works. Collins proposed the creation of 320 commuter spaces with access from Sparks along with a parking structure for village employees.

The developer said it plans to finance the apartment building, which will include street-level retail, with equity provided by itself and its partners and money borrowed from a private lender. The commuter parking and shifting the village buildings would be funded “through a public-private partnership,” Collins said. “Collins will work together with the village to finance the commuter parking garage and other public improvements.” It would seek to “utilize available benefits through the Westchester Industrial Development Agency.”

In its letter in April, JMF Properties proposed a $44 million plan to build the 140 apartments and merge village hall with relocated police and fire stations. As with the Collins proposal, the new residential complex would be built between Fifth and Fourth avenues where village parking lots and the firehouse currently stand.

JMF Properties’ proposal will be presented on to the village board on Tuesday.

According to one board trustee, the contents of the plan are likely to change regardless of which developer is chosen

“We will have the next presentation on Oct, 9,” said Volpe. “Thereafter, we can deliberate and decide whether to work with one of the developers or go back to the drawing board.”

“These proposals are in concept phase only, and when/if a developer is chosen, there will be plenty of opportunity for community engagement to ensure the components positively serve the residents of Pelham,” said Trustee Ariel Spira-Cohen.

About the Writer
Ella Stern, Politics Editor

Ella Stern is a rising senior at Pelham Memorial High School. She is a captain on the varsity track and field team, an avid member of several clubs, and...

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Pelham board reviewing proposals for developing village properties downtown