News that thieves the former United Hospital site for scrap metal has prompted another round of speculation in Port Chester.
What's going on with the property, people wonder, and why has nothing been done in the seven years since the hospital closed?
A year after doctors and patients vacated United Hospital, big-time investors Starwood Capital purchased the site for $28 million in 2006.
Representatives from Starwood were all smiles and enthusiasm in summer 2010, when they presented grand plans for a project they called "The Gateway." So-named because it would be the first thing visitors saw when coming in via Route One, I-95 and I-287, The Gateway was a glitzy mix of tree-lined walkways, high-end shops, and high-rise apartments with views of the Sound.
But Port Chester's trustees, newly-elected and vowing not to the school district, weren't as impressed as Starwood's investors had hoped. Despite , elected leaders are reluctant to support any large-scale residential development in Port Chester.
Almost two years later, Starwood has scaled back its plans and is looking to recover on six years of owning a vacant building with nothing to show for it. The company has sued the school district for $750,000, arguing that it's been paying taxes based on an outdated property assessment.
In the meantime, more broken windows have been boarded up, the previously manicured lawn is overgrown, and the dilapidated building has become an eyesore -- and a sore point -- during the village's revitalization push.