Armonk Condo Project Receives Site Plan Approval Following Years of Debate

Michael Fareri
Developer Michael Fareri saw his revised condominium project at the old lumberyard site in Armonk approved.

A revamped condominium project was granted final approval last week by the North Castle Planning Board but the developer said he is unlikely to meet a requirement that would reduce the number of affordable units.

The June 28 site plan approval enabled developer Michael Fareri to clear a major hurdle to develop the 20-unit plan at the site of the old lumberyard on Bedford Road in Armonk. During the past month Fareri has also received approvals from the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals and Architectural Review Board.

He must now submit water and sewer plans to the Westchester County Department of Health and engineering and architectural plans to the Building Department and have those approved in order to receive a building permit.

However, because of the multiple layers of approvals and the anticipated waiting period to receive a permit, Fareri said he doesn’t expect to be able to begin construction this year.

To comply with the town-imposed deadline to reduce his affordable housing requirement from 20 to 10 percent, Fareri would need to show the town he has completed most of the work by Dec. 31, 2022.

“I don’t think that we’re going to have the building permit probably until November, which means we probably won’t start the job until March and there’s no way that I’m going to be able to get the 75 percent (completion) between March and December, particularly not knowing the situation with materials and getting a building permit,” Fareri said.

His initial hope was to break ground three months ago in April, which would have enabled him to build the structure and put a roof on before the winter. That would have allowed crews to continue with interior construction during the cold weather months.

Fareri indicated he will return to the Town Board to seek relief.

“I objected to that condition when it was because I said rather than have a completion date, without having a start date I can’t very well get to the finish line unless I get to the starting line, but they didn’t see it that way and they kept it the way it is,” Fareri said.

The developer was originally approved for 36 units at the site in 2015, but was required by the town to provide six units of affordable housing because of added density. The town’s ordinance requires 10 percent affordable housing for any project of at least eight units.

Shortly after the original 2015 approval, Fareri balked at constructing the project because it would be cost prohibitive.

After several more years of inactivity where he continually lobbied to have the affordable unit requirement reduced, the Town Board and Fareri agreed last year to establish a deadline where most of the project has to be finished by a certain date for the affordable housing percentage to be cut in half. Originally that deadline was June 30, 2022, but that was amended because of delays.

Fareri then reconfigured the project, which required a new site plan that reduced the number of units to 20. As a result, there would be 18 market-rete condos and two affordable residences.

There will be two 10-unit buildings each containing four two-bedroom units and six three-bedroom residences.