County IDA Grants Tax Incentives to East Post Road Developer
The Westchester County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) met Thursday, June 26, approving tax incentives on three new development projects, representing a total of $83 million in private investment in the county.
County Executive Robert Astorino, the republican gubernatorial candidate for governor, spoke briefly at the beginning of the meeting thanking each of the developers for their interest and investment in Westchester County.
The smallest of the projects is the $6 million complete renovation of the empty office building at 101 East Post Road in White Plains. The building, which formerly held offices for the Westchester County Court, is now owned by Post Road Associates, LLC. The address is located within the urban renewal area surrounding White Plains Hospital.
Paul Guillaro, president and CEO of White Plains-based Unicorn Contracting and general partner of Post Road Associates, LLC, was accompanied at the meeting by former judge William Wetzel, Corporation Counsel for Unicorn. The company has offices in the Bar Building on Main Street in White Plains and a sign on the door indicates former White Plains Mayor Joseph Delfino is also associated with the firm.
While he did not recuse himself from the discussion, for reasons of transparency, James Coleman, executive director of the Westchester IDA and Local Development Corporation, noted that “until a few months ago,” he had been employed by Unicorn Contracting.
Guillaro said the renovations were required to attract a quality tenant to the location, which has remained vacant for some time. The building was being designed with two alternative layouts to accommodate one large tenant, or single tenants on individual floors or multiple tenants on each floor.
According to discussion at the meeting, construction of the 50,000 square-foot building is expected to begin this fall and will be completed by spring 2015. Approximately 200 permanent jobs and 50 construction jobs are projected.
Quality commercial tenants as well as high-paying jobs generated by the project would support the Mamaroneck Avenue retail and restaurant district, Guillaro noted.
The project will receive $329,250 in tax incentives through the IDA ($251,250 in sales tax exemption and $78,000 in mortgage recording tax exemption).
The other two projects reviewed by the IDA included a Marriott Springhill Suites in the Village of Tuckahoe and a mixed-used shopping, entertainment, hotel and housing complex in the Village of Dobbs Ferry.
The Rivertowns Square commercial mixed-used complex, proposed by locally based Saber Dobbs Ferry, LLC, is a $52 million project, which will receive $1,609,402 million in tax incentives through the IDA ($1,062,180 in sales tax exemption, $547,222 in mortgage recording tax exemption). The project will create 660 full and part-time jobs and 475 construction jobs.
The project is expected to revitalize 17.7 acres located off the Saw Mill River Parkway at Lawrence Street, which have remained vacant since 2005. The development will include a specialty cinema, a Mrs. Green’s natural grocery market, an Ulta Cosmetics store, a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant, a Chop’t Creative Salads and The Learning Experience, a childcare facility. Seventy-five percent of the commercial space is preleased. In addition, the development will include a 123-room Hilton Garden Inn and a 202-unit residential building. The project will utilize “green building” technologies, including the use of Energy Star rated equipment and materials made from recycled content or renewable sources where possible. Construction will begin in October and is expected to last 18 to 24 months.
The Tuckahoe Marriott Springhill Suites, proposed by Eastchester-based Bilwin Development Affiliates, LLC, is a $25 million project, which will receive $1.4 million in tax incentives through the IDA ($1.2 million in sales tax exemption, $200,000 in mortgage recording tax exemption). The project will create 80 permanent jobs (30 hotel and 50 restaurant) and 200 construction jobs.
The 91,000 square-foot building will be located on 3.5 acres of land at 109-125 Marbledale Road in Tuckahoe. The 163-room facility will include 1,000 square-feet of meeting space, a restaurant, an indoor pool, an indoor whirlpool, an exercise room, a business center, a gift shop and guest laundry room. The project will utilize “green building” technologies, including solar photovoltaic, geothermal heating and cooling, foam insulation, a green roof, rainwater retention and reuse and LED lighting. Construction will begin in November and the project is expected to take about one year.
William M. Mooney III, who was appointed by the County Executive as the new director of economic development for Westchester County, effective June 23rd, was present at the meeting.