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Port Chester Discusses United Hospital Site's Future

Resolution: Village Board of Trustees would be "lead agency" for zoning review process.

The Port Chester village Board of Trustees tonight is slated to discuss the next step in the proposed redevelopment of the former United Hospital site until a mixed-us residential complex.

The meeting is set for 7 p.m. in the Village Court, 350 N. Main St. Port Chester, following a closed-door "executive session" at 6 p.m.

On tonight's agenda is a resolution that would begin the review process for Starwood Capital Group's proposal for the closed-hospital site on 14 acres just off Boston Post Road. The resolution would declare the village Board of Trustees as the legal "lead agency" for the environmental review process for the proposal.

Proposed: 820 residential units in five- and six-story buildings, with 20,000 square feet of ground floor retail and commercial uses and 1,350 parking spots in surface and underground structures. The residential units would have a mix of sizes: 5 percent studios, 48 percent one-bedroom and 47 percent two-bedrooms.

To make the project possible, Starwood is seeking a zoning change from the site's current two-family residential designation to a special district that allows for a planned development. The project would demolish the old, unused hospital.

While the site is in a busy section of Port Chester with large shopping center just across Boston Post Road, the redevelopment of the site has become a major topic of disucssion among village residents because of concerns over its impact on the Port Chester School District.

Some residents fear the size of the project could worsen existing problems face by the school district in providing services for the densely-packed village.

William Demarest (Editor) November 20, 2012 at 02:59 AM
The Port Chester Board of Trustees has OK'd moving forward with the review process for Starwood's plan to redevelop the old United Hospital site. The decision, however, does not lock in the number of units in any development there.
Sarah D. Baker, LMT November 20, 2012 at 11:50 AM
What about affordable housing?
Anne Latella November 20, 2012 at 12:39 PM
It is still The United Hospital Site. A hospital belongs there & nothing else. Anything else that may be put there will be a disaster. There is nothing mre important then a hospital where people in Port Chester can have their medical needs met and future citizens of Port Chester are born. Where is the foresight exercised by the people of Port Chester over 100 years ago?
Aidan November 20, 2012 at 01:01 PM
I don't care what the developers assert ... if you build substantial housing of any sort you're putting the school district on the edge ... and that is the last thing this district or village needs. Starwood has a single concern ... the bottom line. And taxpayers are not a factor for them. At all. Taxpayers have been pummeled paying for these schools and now you're asking for some leap of faith. It's nonsense. These units will produce a school enrollment bulge that we cannot afford. There are no realistic safeguards in this proposal. They cite other development sites in other towns and cities, but none of them have the same texture of Port Chester. Affordable housing? Are you serious? This village has done MORE than its fair share in that regard. That sort of suggestion is out of step with the hopes and aspirations of the "new" Port Chester. Here we are, nearing the end of a master-plan debate, and such a proposal would sabotage the future we all envision. To encourage such housing just saddles over-burdened taxpayers further. Not smart. In fact, very unsmart. This board promised to hold taxes steady ... and they've delivered. Kudos to them. Why offer up a suggestion that simply makes that promise impossible to keep in the years ahead? Make the right decisions for the village ... and stop trying to make Port Chester some sort of cultural nirvana. Do what's right for the village ... and for the taxpayers. That's what you all promised ... now deliver.
George Datino November 20, 2012 at 01:26 PM
I concur with Aidan however I would say the school district is already on the edge and any more enrollment increases will push it over the edge along with the taxpayers. My question is why is the BOT even entertaining the proposal? Why have Starwood continue to spend money on a project that should be a non-starter? Why lead Starwood on? Or are they blowing smoke up the taxpayers you know what? I have seen this before. Publicly say one thing but let the process continue and gain momentum in the background and next thing you know ground is broken and it is too late. Come on guys, simply nip it in the bud now and don't give it a chance to grow its own life and it can't be stopped.
Linda Turturino November 20, 2012 at 01:47 PM
I was at this meeting and I feel the BOT needs to work with Starwood very close to have them develop the best possible situation for the Village - there are many things to look at. We need some open space such as a small pocket park/playground, hotel space, retail space and with the caviat that good retailers be locked in not another CVS or Dunkin Donuts or nail salon and we are in need of a good walk in Healthcare center where people can get care as an alterative to the ER. That is just a start......
Anne Latella November 20, 2012 at 02:41 PM
This site was destined to be used for a hospital only. A Village this size is in desperate need of its own hospital. Find a private hospital which will be delighted to build there and serve not only Port Chester but Rye, Harrison,Larchmont, Mamaroneck & New Rochelle. It should be a trauma hospital as well as a teaching hospital. It will provide much needed jobs for many people in the area. Our economy is all about jobs. Also residents and future residents love the idea of having a highly skilled hospital nearby.
Aidan November 20, 2012 at 02:47 PM
I'm with you. This is the time for the village to be smart-smart. Why not more retail? They provide both revenues and job opportunities. The schools will be less burdened ... and taxpayers will get some long-overdue tax relief. You're right ... discourage low-end retailers who offer little to the vitality of the village. Whole Foods is taking an at-bat ... and that new high-end cosmetics emporium in the shopping center is another sweet site ... mostly because of what it is NOT. Same goes for lots of rather new enterprises in town. We're over-run with bodega-style operations and enough laundramats that make us seem like Maytag heaven. Those sorts off enterprises do not function as the magnets we want in the village. Recognize the "new" village for what is it to become ... and shuck the past. This village is smack in the center of one of the most desirable corridors in the nation. For God's sakes, pay homage to the age-old mantra of "location, location, location". Ratchet up the expectations and discourage the sort of activity we all know to have small value. Make the most of our territorial resources ... and stop letting others assume what we should be ... rather than what WE want to be.
eatingdogfood November 20, 2012 at 03:01 PM
You've got to be kidding! With Obamacare looming, more hospitals will be going out of business than going into business. And small businesses are having even more troubles. PC went down the tubes years ago. Don't get too nit picky about what gets developed there, or you'll be staring at the dilapidated United Hospital forever!
AAC November 20, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Where's Bart Didden in this discussion?
M. Brumbaugh November 20, 2012 at 03:59 PM
The residents of Port Chester need to be heard on plans for the United Hospital Site. The Board of Trustees need to slow down and refine the plans. They are selling Port Chester out. We cannot afford to give in to Startwood Cap. They want 2 bedroom apartments that will only bring more children into the village school district. The schools and the taxes we pay are just maxed out. There should be some senior citizen housing and housing for young professionals that work in NYC. The residents deserve to be heard through a public meeting and perhaps a vote.
Inigo Montoya November 20, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Willett House?
Inigo Montoya November 20, 2012 at 06:40 PM
The problem is the way the story is being presented to the people of Port Chester, both here and in the discussions. Starwood is trying to position the project as removal of an eyesore, replacement with a nice little upscale residential development, and associated property tax benefits for the villiage. What's not to love about that?!? How about a school district that's already overcrowded and underfunded that will be stressed further by this development? How about 1000+ people moving into an area roughly the size of the High School's footprint, along with (likely) 1000+ cars coming in and out of the development every day? Right now, Starwood is winning the PR war here because their message is clear and consistent. People opposing this need to be clear and consistent with their opposition, or we'll never stand a chance. Once those 800+ units are here, there's no legal way to control who lives there. So for Starwood to assume that only 19 net new students will wind up in the schools is ridiculous. It's entirely possible (and there's nothing that the villiage can do about it) that all 800 units could have children living in them. Maybe Starwood needs to build an additional elementary school and expand/upgrade the Middle and High Schools to absorb the influx if they're approved.
Susie November 20, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Just wondering how much power is there in telling Starwood what they can and can't build. Don't they have the right to build whatever they wish as long as it meets zoning. I am not at all in support of more housing and absolutely NOT in favor of any affordable housing Ann, the last thing we need is for that property to go back to being a hospital and come off the tax roll
Inigo Montoya November 20, 2012 at 07:06 PM
The current zoning only allows for 2-family units. If the trustees don't approve a change in zoning, then Starwood can't build the multi-story, multi-family units they're proposing. So instead of cramming 800 units into the area, they could likely only fit a fraction of that amount into the area. If that happens, they'd likely need to reconsider what they want to put there since their plan is based on the profit of having 800 units in place (i.e. the equation would be very different if there were only 100 units). So in short, if the villiage doesn't approve the zoning change, Starwood can't build it.
eatingdogfood November 20, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Senior housing. Over 55 solves your crowded school problem.
Inigo Montoya November 20, 2012 at 08:51 PM
....that just leaves 1000 extra cars going in/out of that intersection a couple times a day. You're right though, and unfortunately, Starwood isn't proposing limiting it to seniors.
Bart Didden November 20, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Willett House, now that is funny! I do have a full time job.
Bart Didden November 20, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Good Afternoon everyone, here is the link to the Village website, the Starwood material starts at page 121 http://www.portchesterny.com/pages/PortchesterNY_BTrustAg/11-19-2012%20Agenda%20Backup.pdf
Rob Thomas January 05, 2013 at 08:03 PM
affordable housing? now that is a joke. i would rather see un-affordable housing built in PC at this point. Hotel? Retail? Job creation? Bring wealth and business? Why stop there? Heck lets combine all those ideas..... Casino anyone?

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