After years of political wrangling and discussions among Westchester County, the Town of Greenburgh, Valhalla School District and community stakeholders, the WestHELP site will be developed into 74 units of affordable senior housing.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer announced the plans last week.
The site is a six-acre parcel located off Knollwood Road adjacent to the campus of Westchester Community College. Concerns focused on the need to prevent overcrowding in the area.
The original lease submitted last October was for only 54 units, but has been expanded by 20 units with the agreement of all interested parties.
In announcing the plans Latimer said, “Issues with the WestHELP site were resolved because we were able to work across lines and not try to be secretive. There was a combination of things that made this happen, and if we’re going to do anything good it has to come out of that combination.”
The plans call for the developer, Marathon Development Group, to pay $1.5 million ($900,000 to the county and $600,000 to the town on behalf of the county) in exchange for Greenburgh relinquishing all rights to the site. The new development will serve a wide mix of income levels, including 40% to 60% of Area Median Income as well as 80% to 90% of Area Median Income. Market analysts note the mix of units should broaden the property’s appeal to the senior community.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner said, “Members of the Greenburgh Town Board and I are very excited about the plans to build affordable senior citizen housing at the former WestHELP homeless shelter. There is a need for senior housing, and this initiative will provide an enhanced quality of life to many senior citizens. I also want to thank the County Executive for the way his administration handled this proposal. The county was a good neighbor. The County Executive encouraged the town and the developer to reach out to the community and School District, which we did. We explained what was being proposed and the community agreed to support the senior housing. This is exactly what needs to be done.”