EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – Although Bronxville residents are torn over the proposed Kensington Road redevelopment, village officials are excited about the proposition of turning the parking structure into a condominium complex.
Last month, the Bronxville Board of Trustees selected Greenwich-based Fareri Associates to continue the project that began in 2007.
This will be the third time a developer has attempted to renovate the location. The previous developer, WCI, was heavily invested in a collapsing Florida real estate market five years ago, and was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy before it could break ground on the project.
According to Mayor Mary Marvin, Fareri Associates has developed more than $40 billion worth of real estate in Westchester and Fairfield counties over the four decades it has operated in the area.
“The team we chose has clearly demonstrated experience in construction of high end, empty-nester developments, construction of properties adjacent to MTA facilities and expertise in building underground garages,” she said.
The condominium project is approximately 110,000-square-feet, and will create more than 50 one and two-bedroom condominiums. The village will seek to attract “empty nesters,” current residents who are looking to downsize while remaining near Eastchester. There will also be 300 parking spaces, which will replace the current spots.
Marvin addressed concerns from residents worried about further swelling the school district’s enrollment numbers, noting that there is no way to know how many school-aged children would potentially move into the complex. She said that the previous developer did an environmental impact study, which concluded that the “worst case” scenario would bring in up to six new students.
“Even with certifiable data, it stands to reason that no one can forecast with exact certainty the number of children,” she said. “Just as we cannot predict to the exact person the number of empty nesters who will move each year because they have hit the property tax tipping point, or the number of children who will occupy rental or owner-occupied residences.”
The trustees expressed excitement over the project, which will also remove an estimated 20,000-square-yards of contaminants, at a cost of nearly $10 million to the developer. Grants will be made available to Fareri through the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and the area – which is presently an expansive blacktop surface – will be renovated and landscaped.
The board said it was important to find a new developer who understood the history and future of the village. In his offering statement, Fareri assured residents he wouldn’t alter the landscape of the community.
“Bronxville has many beautiful, multi-family residences, some of which are 90 years old,” he said. “They are a testament to good planning and excellent construction methods. Most still look as good as the day they were built. I pledge to do everything I can to make the Kensington Road project take its place right alongside those others.”