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Port Chester Trustees Uneasy With Starwood Plan for United Hospital Site

Starwood and Mill Creek laid out their plans for tax revenue and job creation at closed hospital.

The met with representatives from and Mill Creek Residential Trust for a workshop Monday night on how to move forward with the former site.

The main focus of the information Starwood and Mill Creek brought to the table was regarding taxes. The proposed plan is currently set at a 5-year build time consisting of two phases, each phase lasting roughly two years and consisting of 410 of the total 820 proposed residential units.  A presentation of preliminary tax estimates for the United Hospital site from the two groups generated a tax of:

  • $507,000 in the 2013-14 year
  • $820,000 in year 3 of the build
  • $1,771,938 by year 5

“We’re kind of disappointed,” said Trustee Savero Terenzi. “They didn’t come to the table with anything but taxes, which just covers the cost of doing business. Based on that, it’s a non-starter at this point. They are really not generating anything to get excited about. Maybe they will come up with something creative but I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.”

Mill Creek and Starwood also presented information concerning the cost versus revenue for the Port Chester School District. The local analysis data Mill Creek and Starwood are using shows a growth of 2.8 students per 100 units. By the end of the project, there would be 23 students (2.8x820 = 22.96) added to the school district. Based on the 2010/2011 budget, the incremental cost per student is $14,568, the estimated 23 students added to the district would total a cost of $334,481 to the schools.

Local residents and village officials have voice extreme concerns about any development in Port Chester that would add a large number of new students to already packed local schools.

According to the Starwood plan, after completion, the 820 units would generate a total of $1,091,043 in school tax revenue, which nets out at about $756,562. However, Starwood is currently paying $303,098 annually on the vacant United Hospital site. The difference between the current tax paid and the tax paid on a complex with 820 new apartments is $453,464. 

“The financials were underwhelming to me personally,” said Mayor Dennis Pilla. “There is a balancing act that we need to be mindful of here. If one of the kids needs special education it’s going to cost another $100,000.”

Pilla was not alone in feeling that the proposal was underwhelming.Terenzi was far from satisfied with the latest proposal update.

“The bottom line is the taxes that they’re offer are nowhere near what the property is worth,” said Terenzi. “The finances don’t sell the project. They are backing into numbers that they need to hit for it to make sense for them. Unfortunately, if this is their final offer and their best offer, it’s going to stay that way for a long time.”

Starwood and Mill Creek also pointed out that the project is expected to generate 1,974 total full-time jobs. 1,327 direct construction jobs over the planned 5-year build time, 640 jobs in “supporting industries” and 90 full-time jobs during operation.  

“That’s all just a smokescreen. The jobs they are suggesting would just be an economic benefit for the short term,” added Terenzi.

The mayor was again skeptical when discussing the 640 projected jobs in “supporting industries.”

“I need to have my planning experts look into that but to me that seems like a lot of jobs,” said Pilla.

Starwood and Mill Creek both had no comment regarding the evening’s proceedings siting that they needed to “regroup” before speaking with anyone “after what just happened in there.”  

Read more about the plan for the old United Hospital site here: 

JJ July 03, 2012 at 11:22 AM
I'm happy that someone is questioning this project more in depth. Anytime you do anything in the Village of Port Chester you need to ask who is involved & where is the money coming from? Publish the names of the people involved in this project & follow the money..........
George Datino July 03, 2012 at 12:00 PM
“That’s all just a smokescreen....added Terenzi.". I said in the last article posted here that they would be "blowing smoke"! “The bottom line is the taxes that they’re offer are nowhere near what the property is worth,” said Terenzi. Somewhat confused. They are making an offer on what they would like to pay in taxes? I thought that was dictated by the Assessed Value of the property. If we can make offers on what we would like to pay in taxes, do we simply negotiate directly with each taxing entity? Oh, by the way, love the picture of the Arizona Green Tea bottle on the table. Can you guys do me a favor next time, however? Can you turn the bottle just a little so you can read the label a little better? Some free advertising for the company one works for is not a bad thing!
John B July 03, 2012 at 01:40 PM
To the BOT especially Mr. Terenzi and Mr. Pilla, thank you and hold onto that uneasy feeling. Taxes and school population seem to be low balled numbers. Arizona green tea is good.
Linda Turturino July 03, 2012 at 06:12 PM
This needs some serious discussion as this will impact our schools that are busting at the seems now. i just hope the right folks get together for this conversation and the best outscome will be offered
Bea Conetta July 03, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Thank God we finally have a Board of trustees that can see through the "smoke and mirrors" and realize that something doesn't smell right with the Starwood proposal. We are no longer naiive, because we have a Board that is proactive and knows what is going on. What Starwood is proposing is so different than what they proposed originally. The power is with the BOT, and they must keep on fighting until they get what is good for the residents of Port Chester and not what is more beneficial to Starwood. We won't blame the developers or their lawyers for what the outcome is, because their main purpose is to make money. The fault will be with our BOT who gives the permission to whatever is built. It is also ridiculous that they propose how much tax they pay. That is determined by the assessment of their development, just as it is for all properties in Port Chester. They don't deserve any preferential treatment. Keep up the good work BOT.
Cadeyrn July 03, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Yup. Trust but verify. Again and again.
Aidan July 03, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Glad to see Mr. Terenzi untangling the numbers provided by the Starwood crowd. He said it best when he stated that, well, he just doesn't see much in this at all for the village. Personally, I am frightened and super-skeptical of the child/student numbers ... and supposed immediate bonanza for the school district. Not buying' it ... for lots of reasons. This is a LONG way from being wrapped up ... and I expect Starwood's to firm up and get gritty ... and the hell with the general well-being of the village.
E. Nuff Sayd July 04, 2012 at 12:50 PM
It is very clear that the BOT must keep the pressure on bring housing in this village up to code... The housing stock here is very old. The Starwood plan has merit for a large city- not a small village. They should have performed some good faith by renovating 999 High St. and/or performed the demolition of the hospital site before coming in begging for re-zone. This is a company with very deep pockets with a billion dollars of cash and assets. It shouldn't be surprising because it is typical for millionaire investors to take advantage of small municipalities by making weak proposals. This plan is designed only to create a higher burden on our local services and make them big profits. Shame on them. Thanks to the BOT for pushing them back to the drawing board.
PC Lover July 04, 2012 at 01:17 PM
2.8 students per 100 units? Is that a typo? In Port Chester it's usually the other way around. If the plan is for low-moderate income rental housing Starwood is so full of it the influx of students will be coming out of our ears.
Joe July 04, 2012 at 01:34 PM
How many kids are there at the new development at the bottom of Fox Island Rd.?We have the complex on Willett ave., and the one by the Willett House Rest. Not to mention the one on Westchester Ave. Let the B.O.T. do a survey on the amount of kids new to the School Distract from new housing units already on the table before guessing 2.8 with Starwood.( I would hope my child was'nt the .8 kid LOL)
Nancy Mattson July 05, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Has Wellington Green been fully rented yet? After years of vacancy Brookchester Court is only now renting the west side. Are the Mariner and the Castle sold out in the pre opening phase? I think the person who declared bankruptcy for a hospital flush with the Leferts money is telling tall tales again. Yes, that someone has a history of getting zoning variences for development projects, but the projects never sell and the developer is stuck paying the mortgage, the heat, the utilities, the water bill, the security, the taxes....oops! sometimes these vacant projects don't pay their property taxes, leaving the town of Rye on the hook. It behoves Starwood to do some truly independant research into the real need for such housing, and not be bamboozled into believing some tall tales like the previous developements.
Anne Latella July 06, 2012 at 06:28 PM
I repeat! There is only one solution of what to do with the United Hospital Property. The solution is to put another great hospital like United back there. It should never have been allowed to be closed. A replacement should have been found. There is nothing needed more then a Hospital as excellent as United. It served not only Port Chester but many of the surround communities and was there for over 100 years. Meaning if it survived a depression, it certainly was viable and a great need to the community. Port Chester was the hub of all of the surrounding communities such as Stamford, Greenwich, New Rochelle Mamaroneck,Larchmont, Rye, White Plains etc. A Community the size of Port Chester and surrounding Towns is badly in need of an excellent Medical Facility and Port Chester is their Gateway. Port Chester does not need more restaurants, hotels etc. A hospital will supply multiple jobs as it has before.It will pay taxes. A hospital is not a tax exempt property and therefore will bring tax income as well. Port Chester should go back to being a forward thinking community.It needs to also bring back all of the manufacturers which have left. Such as Arnold Bakery, Russell, Burdsall & Ward, Life Savers, and Clothing manufacturers which were high end. All of these supplied many jobs for those taxpayers living in Port Chester as well as bringing in new customers.Get busy! Correct these mistakes
Anne Latella August 10, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Trustees- You are absolutely correct to be uneasy with the Starwood project. This property belongs to a great hospital like United and if this group of trustees has the foresight they should be courting an organization like the Cleveland Clinic or a similar upscale hospital. There are 30,000 people in Port Chester alone. Add 9,000 more from Rye Brook then keep adding all of Rye Town, Harrison, Larchmont, Mamaroneck etc. A population of these numbers deserves a terrific Medical Facility. This is a much better choice then over 800 apartment units which will only add to the population with more residents who will be needing Medical Care.

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