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Starwood Presents Latest Plans For Former United Hospital Site

Port Chester Board of Trustees hears proposal for 820 apartment units, shops.

Starwood Capital updated the Port Chester Board of Trustees Monday night on its latest plan for the former site, where the company is looking to build an upscale multi-use development of retail shops and high rise apartments.

The project along Boston Post Road in Port Chester would include 820 apartments available at an average of 950 sq. ft. per unit. The units would consist of 5 percent studios, 47 percent 1 bedroom and 48 percent 2 bedroom.

Starwood for $28 million in 2006 a year after the hospital closed and the building has remained vacant ever since — with residents complaining the property has become an eyesore.

“Overall this is the single most important land use decision the Village of Port Chester will make possible the next 100 years,” said Mayor Dennis Pilla. “They are talking about adding hundreds of units, if they are units that are going to bring kids into the schools then frankly that’s a non-starter. There is a new demographic that’s emerging and the newer housing caters to that. This type of residential strategy is complementary to our overall strategy to attract that young upwardly mobile ‘Generation Y’ demographic.”

Port Chester residents and local officials have been concerned that residential development of the property could but new burdens on the Port Chester school system by increasing the student population.

“If the school system doesn’t get hurt, I’m keeping a very open mind to this,” said Village Board member Saverio Terenzi. “We’re headed in the right direction. The density is still an issue but if we can juggle the finances and show that this property can generate some real dollars, I’m willing to live with some density.”

Starwood is looking to set up a meeting with the Port Chester Board of Education to discuss and explain their proposition in an effort to come to an agreement. A meeting has not yet been scheduled.

“The people that we are looking to attract are the singles, mingles and jingles,” said Starwood representative James E. Raved. “Singles, mingles are people coming together to share an apartment and jingles are older people like empty nesters. Those demographics don’t generate a lot of children. We’re asking people to be open minded and not be scared to death of adding more school age children but to think of the positives.”

Another aspect of the Starwood plan would allocate 20,000 sq. ft. of retail space for small shops. Of the seven buildings in the blueprint handed out at Monday’s meeting, only two would contain retail space. The buildings would be four- and five-stories and only the first floor of the two buildings that would line Boston Post Road would be retail.

Parking must also be considered when adding the number of apartments that would be added to an already dense area. On the zoning data chart, Starwood has proposed 1,230 parking spaces for the 820 units, 170 surfaces parking spaces and 1,060 garage spaces. For the retail space, 120 surfaces parking spaces would be provided. 

As the latest Starwood proposal for the former United Hospital comes on the table, Port Chester is also in the process of completing its Comprehensive Plan — a master guide for future development in the village and an update to its local zoning code.

C Saunders June 26, 2012 at 12:26 PM
There's a couple of other issues the Village needs to look at here too. Waste water discharge - can the villages sewers and treatment plant handle this amount of extra discharge over the previous tenant? Will new capital projects have to be implemented to pay for upgrades? Who pays for that work? Same with the schools. I think it's unrealistic to assume no kids will be added as a result of this development, regardless what the developer says. Perhaps a new school needs to be built or an existing one expanded, the developer should be asked to share the burden , if not bear the full costs of any capital improvements to the school system. Operating costs such as salaries etc may be covered by normal tax revenues (from this development). It all needs to be carefully studied so that PC taxpayers are left holding the bag after the developer is gone
George Datino June 26, 2012 at 12:49 PM
"Mingles" here doesn't mean people coming together to share an apartment, but families coming together to share an apartment. The school system has to be the top priority. Adding all the other taxes together, County, Sewer, Town and Village do not equal a taxpayer's school tax bill. The elementary schools are full, the middle school is full, and at the high school they play a shell game with the schedules to juggle around all the kids to make sure they get enough courses in to graduate. Without a doubt, this will add to the population at the schools and it could lead to new construction at all the levels of schools and additional teachers, administrators, and staff.
William Demarest (Editor) June 26, 2012 at 03:24 PM
There has been lots of discussion about this site ... what do you think would be the best use for the property for Port Chester?
JJ June 26, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Excellent question Mr. Demarest. A few humble suggestions: 1. Pay attention to what Mr. Sauders & Mr. Dationo have mentioned. 2. Ascertain & PUBLISH the additional people involved in this plan who were/ are from the Port Chester area so the Public knows / understands whom we're actually dealing with. YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO FOLLOW THE MONEY IN PORT CHESTER! 3. The best use of the property? Bring back some type of medical facility (Like an Urgent Care Center) and re-zone the rest of the area for mixed usage (Shops & living areas).
American Woman June 26, 2012 at 05:06 PM
A hotel with a small casino would be an interesting idea. We do not have to worry about over loading our school system. It will dramatically increase jobs for people in the village and surrounding towns. It would be easily accessable to major highways, causing (hopefully) less traffic through out the main street area of the village. Port Chester could become a major attraction site for people to come spend their money here.
American Woman June 26, 2012 at 05:10 PM
It will also dramatically REDUCE school taxes.
JJ June 27, 2012 at 04:00 AM
Actually an excellent idea!
George Datino June 27, 2012 at 10:33 AM
Best use of the site depends on what stake you have in the property and the community. It is important that the property be on the Tax Rolls however residential use (especially high density) would cripple an already beleaguered school district and its taxpayers. Whenever the developer meets with the school district officials, you better have the fire department ready with the big exhaust fans because the developers are going to be blowing a lot of smoke up ......There is no way that the developer can guarantee that this will not effect the schools. What are they going to force young couples to move if they start having kids. Are they not going to sell to people if they have a kid? Once the developer sells all the units, they are gone. The barn door is open and the horse is gone! Then the real "mingling" begins. Just looking at the current site map and drawing, it appears Starwood Capital wants to build two large buildings pretty much right on the Post Road with its retail shops on the first floor. Not sure where customers would park unless they would have to go onto High Street and pull in and park. I am not quite sure if there is enough on-site parking with all the apartment units. There really isn't much as far as foot traffic up in that area. It is not like downtown. I don't think the owners of the Kohl's Shopping Center will take to kindly to people having to park in their lot and then cross 5 lanes of busy Route 1 traffic.
George Datino June 27, 2012 at 11:35 AM
Also, in the drawing, if the two front buildings are on the Post Road as I think we are meant to believe, the rear buildings would be sitting much higher and the drawing gives a completely inaccurate depiction of what it would look like. From the viewing angle presented, it would look like one building sitting on top of another building.
Bob June 27, 2012 at 11:52 AM
I think the mixed use concept is a good one. 820 apartments with 50% 2 bedroom isnt a bad mix. Not all those who rent two bedroom will have kids. So, if there are 200 new kids some may come from some who already live here. I don't want to add too many to the school system but the ages will be varied and maybe we set up a plan where they are dispursed througout the elementary schools. I also thing Starwoods should be made to fund any sewer upgrades that are needed. They should also build direct access to 287 and I95 somehow. The Casino idea is an interesting one which may mitigate some housing. The issue is they have to compete with Yonkers and Belmont Park, I'm not sure f it viable but maybe it could work. At least it should be explored.
George Datino June 27, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Calling this mixed use, be definition is true but in actuality it is a farce. It is a 7 Building residential development with a small fraction used for shops. By looking at the drawing provided, it appears the buildings have 5 floors. Multiply that by 7 and you get 35 floors. With the first floors of the two front buildings used for retail and 33 of 35 floors used for residential, calling this anything but residential is laughable. Looking at the layout of the buildings, I would bet if it came down to square footage, the ratio would be even worse. As far as the kids, you just need to look at the rest of the community. Where there are apartments and bedrooms, there are kids. Lots and lots of kids and the way the schools are filled now, even adding a minimum number of kids would do great harm. The Board of Education, and rightly so, came out publicly against the Affordable Housing Projects that are being planned in Rye Brook (within the Port Chester School District) and those projects dwarf in size in comparison to this one.
Linda Turturino June 27, 2012 at 12:35 PM
in my opinion before we anymore housing developments in this Village we need to reduce the overcrowding in the schools - I dont care what anyone says we cannot add one more child to the school system and with 820 units this is a situation that should be considered also concern about our fire equipment and could they handle a fire on this property if built to spec. I do like the idea of a larger walk in center with doctors offices and maybe some type recreation area would be nice perhaps a multiuse room to hold larger events, meetings, plays, etc. Lots of possibilities the ideas just have to make it into the right person's ear
Bob June 27, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Datino I sort of agree with you. I am not arguing that 820 apartments are a concern, I pay school taxes here too. I hope it can be managed somehow. Maybe some can be commercial condos for Doctors, Dentists, Attorneys etc. etc. That would lesson the residential aspect. Maybe they can also increase the retail area.
Cadeyrn June 27, 2012 at 01:36 PM
"... we cannot add one more child to the school system ..." Absolutely. The school tax is smothering folks here. The LAST thing we need is one more student in our bulging schools.
PC Knight June 27, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Does anyone honestly think families are going to rent these brand new apartments and send their kids to Kennedy School? You won't have more than 5 kids coming from this place into the public school district. Its the same thing with the apartments on Abendroth Avenue. They are high priced, to keep kids families out. If you could afford to rent one of the brand new apartments you'd have to be nuts to send your kids into the PC School District.
PC Knight June 27, 2012 at 01:41 PM
I say build it. It looks awesome. Part of what is needed to revamp Port Chester's Image. As long as G&S has nothing to do with the actual development.
American Woman June 27, 2012 at 04:48 PM
So, back to my idea. If the casino was approved and that's what wound up going into the old United Hospital, school taxes would be dramatically reduced and we wouldn't have to worry about more children moving here. What better for our town then lower taxes and not having to worry about a rise in children at our already over populated school. It will probably take a long time to be approved (if at all), but it's already been vacant for so many years, what is a few more?
Team3 June 28, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Is there something wrong with Kennedy School? Just curious...
tonybona July 01, 2012 at 03:49 PM
i thinking the casion route. not to mention the cemetary on the other side. it could soon be a hang out for the kids,as they will get bored eventually. before you know it,theyrell be some vandalism there. just sayn...
tonybona July 01, 2012 at 03:53 PM
lindadada! yes i like the idea of an "entertainment area" theres movir theatres down town. why not a play house or opera? maybe an art museum of some sort? bring culture into the scene instead of residential.
tonybona July 01, 2012 at 03:55 PM
i just think if its going to be residential,theres going to be more problems. its just asking for trouble.
Anne Latella July 31, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Dumb, Dumb & Dumber! You do not need Casino nor do you need 850 Apartments. Both of these ideas are total disaster. Contact the Cleveland Clinic and sell them the property. You definitely need a first class Medical Facility above everything else. 850 apartments is going to nothing but created all kinds of problems for Port Chester. School System, Fire & Police Department, Traffic flow, Sewage etc. I could go on and on. There is already a lack of first class Medical Services. Put in 850 more families and you have a big Catastrophe. Stop grasping at straws & do some intelligent thinking.

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