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Letter to the Editor: Starwood Comments on Plans for United Hospital Site

A letter from Starwood Capital's Ellis F. Rinaldi, EVP/Co-General Counsel.

Dear Editor:

On Monday night, the Board of Trustees made an important decision to commence the environmental impact review process for the redevelopment of the former United Hospital site.  This is a critical step forward for the property’s redevelopment and we thank the Board for taking this first step in a multi-step process. This review will involve a thorough evaluation of a full range of its benefits, potential impacts, and measures designed to minimize those impacts – affording the Board and the public an opportunity to collaboratively assess the proposal on its merits. We at Starwood Capital Group share the Board’s goal of maximizing the redevelopment potential of this property in a way that is both economically viable and beneficial to the community and we look forward to a continued constructive dialogue with the Village Board, Village Staff and the Port Chester residents in the coming months. 

We recognize there are differing views on what the preferred development plan should be for this site; however, we all agree that revitalizing this vacant and underutilized property and returning it to a productive use is vital for the future of the Village of Port Chester.  Starwood’s proposal will yield many significant benefits including enhanced revenue for the Village and its school district, the creation of permanent new jobs, and injecting new discretionary spending into the local economy – not to mention be a symbol of urban renewal and growth. 

We are confident that, through the constructive efforts of all interested parties, the review process will result in a win/win scenario for the entire Village producing significant benefits that far outweigh any perceived impacts.

We thank the Port Chester Board of Trustees, Village Staff and the community for this opportunity and wish you and your families a happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.

Very truly yours,

Ellis F. Rinaldi

EVP/Co-General Counsel

Anne Latella November 29, 2012 at 07:53 PM
The problem it appears those making the decisions have no foresight. They need to be carefully monitered by the residents. I do mean carefully. Having a job does not necessarily mean you are qualified for some of the complicated issues which arise in a town or village or city for that matter.
George Datino November 30, 2012 at 11:13 AM
Bart, I am somewhat curious how this Starwood proposal will do anything but lead to an increase in density. As it stands now, the proposal will add over 1200 bedrooms into the village and unless Starwood plans on buying other properties within the village and get rid of the living areas, this project has nothing to do with either moving or reducing the density. What it does do is introduce another highly dense area into the village, where one currently does not exist. As for the school enrollment, the additional 1200 bedrooms are not going to be all filled with adults. Again, unless there is a drastic reduction of living space somewhere else built into this proposal, there has to be an increase in school enrollment. I am honestly trying to figure out where these reductions in both density and school enrollment are going to come from but I can't. Maybe you can help? I must be missing something.
Bart Didden November 30, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Good Morning George, I am going with the concept of what Mayor Pilla sold us on and included in the Comp Plan. Allowing developers to either do remediation in our densest areas or to buy credits in the form of payment to the Village for their density impact, the Village can (and must) use those funds to reduce density in our heaviest areas. There is currently more than 10% of the school population that come from 9 streets that have some of the worse maintained homes and living conditions in this Village. We need to reclaim those neighborhoods and lift them up to be as desirous as our best neighborhoods.
George Datino November 30, 2012 at 06:04 PM
So, the Starwood would pay the village money for the project to add 1200 bedrooms to the community and the village would then in turn buy up enough properties to eliminate 1200 bedrooms in other parts of the village (say those 9 streets) to reduce the density in those neighborhoods? This way the population of the community would not go up and in theory, neither should the school enrollment.
Bart Didden November 30, 2012 at 08:18 PM
@George Datino, Yep, if the Mayor has this one correct. This is why I voted to do the study, to prove the idea is right or to prove it wrong. As far as your last comment, the optimum idea that the school population would not stay the same but would have a net reduction.

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