Yonkers IDA gives final OK on financial benefits for Point & Ravine; preliminary approvals for three other projects

By Peter Katz | Westchester & Fairfield County Business Journals

The Yonkers Industrial Development Agency has given final approval for financial benefits for the Point & Ravine Apartments at 56 and 69 Ravine Ave. and 76 Point St.

The project is being developed by Rochester-based Conifer Realty. The project is to receive a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement that will run 32 years. It is expected to generate about $10 million in revenue for the city over its life.

The IDA also is providing a mortgage tax exemption of about $690,000 and about $1.775 million in sales tax exemptions.

Point & Ravine Apartments is a $76 million project that aims to revitalize a blighted and vacant block in the Warburton Ravine Urban Renewal Area. The project is to contain three studio apartments, 88 one-bedroom units, 50 two-bedroom units and four three-bedroom units.  Seniors are expected to be given preference for occupying 44 of the units in the development. The project is expected to create 250 construction jobs.

Yonkers IDA
Horizon at Ridge Hill rendering.

The IDA also voted preliminary approvals of financial incentives for three new projects. Two are residential construction: Horizon at Ridge Hill and Westhab’s Hudson Hill at 76 Locust Hill Ave. The third is for a proposed CubeSmart self-storage facility that would be built at 1060 Nepperhan Ave. where the vitamins, supplements and beauty care supplier Health Care Products has been operating.

Horizon at Ridge Hill is the third of four residential towers that were proposed for the Monarch at Ridge Hill site at 601-701 Ridge Hill Blvd. The developer is Hudson at Ridge Hill LLC whose parent company is Azorim, which is Israel’s largest development company.

The first building in the project was a 162-unit condominium structure, which opened in 2012. The second building, a 180-unit rental tower, is expected to open shortly. The third building is to be 14 floors with 180 rental apartments. It is to be built on 2.95 acres of vacant land to the south of the existing two towers.

Long-term plans call for the fourth residential tower to be developed south of the project. Tower three is to include seven studio apartments, 105 one-bedroom units, 64 two-bedroom units and four three-bedroom apartments. Eighteen of the units are to be classified as affordable.

The Monarch at Ridge Hill already has an amenity building for residents featuring a gym, children’s playroom and movie theater. A pool is to be constructed. The $75 million third building is expected to create 100 construction jobs and six full-time jobs.

Yonkers IDA
A rendering of Hudson Hill.

Westhab’s Hudson Hill project at 76 Locus Hill Ave. is designed for low-income families. It is to include 113 affordable housing rental units composed of a mix of 19 studios, 45 one-bedroom, 44 two-bedroom and five three-bedroom units. All of the units will be permanent housing restricted to families earning no more than 60% of the area median income (AMI) for the Westchester County.

Forty-five of the units will be supportive in nature for formerly homeless tenants. The building will include a community room, recreation room, outdoor courtyard garden and 84-space parking garage. It’s estimated to be a $53.9 million project that creates 83 construction jobs and six full-time jobs.

The city of Yonkers has committed $172,489 to Westhab in predevelopment funds and another $670,000 in HOME funds for construction costs. Westhab anticipates that Westchester County will provide a grant to reimburse it for the $1.4 million land purchase price.

The third project to receive preliminary approval involves the construction of a CubeSmart self-storage facility at 1060 Nepperhan Ave., at a site that has been occupied by Health Products Corp. It would be a 100,000-square-foot facility on a 5.5-acre site. The $15.4 million project is expected to create 50 construction jobs.

Kirk Lewin of the family that has operated Health Care Products told the IDA board that the company would be hiring CubeSmart to operate the facility. He said his family could relocate Health Products Corp. to another site in Yonkers.

“My family has owned the property at 1060 Nepperhan Avenue for approximately 35 years,” Lewin said. “If we can get the numbers to work, the current proposal is to invest approximately $15 million to rehabilitate the existing parcel with a new construction.”

Lewin explained that construction costs are turning out to be higher than anticipated, projected real estate property taxes will be higher on the completed project, more parking is necessary than in other municipalities and it takes four to five years for the self-storage spaces to be fully leased. He said that they are seeking a 10-year 50% property tax abatement through a PILOT agreement.

“A facility of this nature requires minimal public services while the long-term contribution to the ever-growing local community and significant addition to the tax base will be meaningful,” Lewin said. He said that marketing studies have shown there is a strong demand for self-storage space in Yonkers despite already-existing facilities.