News Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.
The developer of Eagle Ridge, a proposed hotel and age-restricted 72-townhome project in Armonk last week proposed two changes to the hotel application that will require amending the findings statement and a return to multiple boards.
Applicant MADDD Madonna Armonk LLC’s plan for Eagle Ridge will now see the hotel increase from 115 to 124 rooms with an increase from three to four stories, said Kory Salomone, the attorney for the applicant. Despite the hotel going to four floors, the height of the building is expected to remain at 45 feet, he said.
Salomone said each prospective hotel operator that the Eagle Ridge team has contacted are requiring that they be allowed to build four stories. Only certain chains, like Red Roof Inn or La Quinta, for example, would agree to a maximum of three stories, he said.
“That’s the general consensus from everybody, that unless this is four stories and that type of programming with that key count, it’s not going to work,” said developer Frank Madonna.
As a result of the revision to the hotel plan, MADDD Madonna must return to the Town Board in hopes it will agree to amend the findings statement. Furthermore, the applicant must also head to the Zoning Board of Appeals to be approved for the extra story as well as to the Architectural Review Board. A trip to the Conservation Board will also be needed.
The developer revealed there has been discussions with an unidentified operator for the lodging facility. The hotel would be situated on a just over 10-acres, which had been subdivided from the original 32-acre site. Previously, the land had been owned by IBM.
At last week’s North Castle Planning Board meeting, one of the project’s consultants, landscape architect John Imbiano, also gave a brief presentation regarding a landscape plan for the residential portion of the site. The plan includes more than 500 new trees to give the site a neighborhood character.
There would be a variety of species, including elms, oaks, maples, rosebuds and dogwoods, Imbiano said.
There is also a lighting plan for the residential area that would feature street lights of no more than 12 feet high, he said. That would differ from the hotel side of the property, which would be slightly taller.
Director of Planning Adam Kaufman said he was encouraged with the proposed landscaping.
“We were going to create a neighborhood that is going to be a place where these residents are going to want to live,” Kaufman said. “We started to get that and John is off to a good plan here.”
While the landscaping may have received encouraging remarks, board Chairman Christopher Carthy noticed that there were relatively minor revisions to the layout of the residential units.
In the spring, the board criticized the layout of the rows of 72 townhome units, referring to it as “stadium seating” because of the rows of structures one behind the others and the grade of the property.
“To be blunt, this has been tweaked, it hasn’t been redesigned,” Carthy said. “But on the other hand, they introduced this landscape plan and dress it up as best they can and this is what they come in with. I think we as a board need to really get serious about moving this forward of not.”
Another issue that resurfaced last week was whether there could be a crosswalk across Route 22 that would allow pedestrians to potentially walk from the complex into downtown Armonk. The state Department of Transportation has not been enthusiastic about putting in a crosswalk across a wide and busy thoroughfare such as Route 22.
Throughout the process, the Town Board has asked for that to be considered in hopes of limiting the number of vehicles to the downtown to limit congestion and avoid possible parking difficulties.
“I don’t think we have DOT participation in this,” Carthy said.