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Developer Selected for Mixed-Use Project Near Hawthorne Train Station

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The Mount Pleasant Industrial Development Agency (IDA) selected an Elmsford builder last week to construct a mixed-use project on an empty parcel in downtown Hawthorne across the street from the Metro-North station.

Trinity Associates has entering negotiations with the IDA to buy the roughly half-acre lot at 408 Elwood Ave. and is expected to propose 12 apartments on the second and third stories with 850 square feet of ground-floor retail, said Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi, who serves as chair of the IDA.

The property is where the old Bel Paese restaurant was located before it went out of business about a decade ago. That structure was later demolished. The units would be a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments with 17 on-site parking spaces.

“This is exactly what the Master Plan is looking for, this type of development, and we’re hoping that this will spur other investment in the area, whether it’s to renovate a building or improve on their buildings or maybe to add a level to their buildings,” Fulgenzi said. “We’re not looking for people to come in and tear down all the buildings and start rebuilding. We think it will entice people, maybe a neighboring property (owner), to want to dress up their building.”

Trinity Associates was one of two developers vying for the chance to buy the property. Fulgenzi said Trinity was selected because town officials are familiar with their work and find the company’s projects attractive and would be the best fit for the community. Other projects by the developer include the former Maher Funeral Home property project on Washington Avenue in Pleasantville, The Flats in Peekskill and Ray Place in Eastchester.

Once the sale is completed, Trinity will be able to submit its application to the town that will first be reviewed by the Zoning Board of Appeals to seek variances for height, density and parking. They could avoid needing a rezone from the ZBA if the town adopts the updated Master Plan, which would allow for the proposed use. The developer would then have to appear before the Planning Board for site plan review.

Fulgenzi said the property was recently appraised at a little more than $600,000, which is what the IDA is seeking.

John Saraceno, president of Trinity Associates, said the apartments would be designed for the empty-nester. He projects monthly rents would be about $2,550 for the one-bedroom units and $3,600 for two bedrooms.

“We believe our market at this property will be similar to our project in Pleasantville, which would include a mix of young business professionals, current and former town residents who recently sold their homes but wish to maintain a residence in the community, divorcees and part-time residents who have primary residences out of state,” Saraceno said in a statement.

This proposal is not the only project in that area of Hawthorne that is moving forward. Construction is underway for two levels of housing at 500 Commerce St. for a residential-only project, Fulgenzi said. The bottom level will be for parking.

The town is also turning another piece of property across the street from the Hawthorne train station into a parking lot.

Fulgenzi said the Town Board will soon be bringing back the proposed Master Plan update to the public and is eyeing a spring adoption. Some of the delay is a result of the town having to return to virtual meetings with the rise of COVID-19 cases.

Officials have proposed a form-based code to revitalize the CNR zones with mixed-use and specific design standards.

“We’re going to give a clear picture and direction of what the form-based code is, to make things a little clearer, so when you go to the town, you know exactly what you can and can’t do and not everybody has to go to the Planning Board for approvals and zoning board for zoning changes,” Fulgenzi said.

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