BusinessThe Northern Westchester Examiner

Peekskill Focuses on Mixed-Use, Residential Projects Moving Ahead

News Article Article pages that do not meet specifications for other Trust Project Type of Work labels and also do not fit within the general news category.

We are part of The Trust Project
Peekskill Mayor Vivian McKenzie addressed local business owners, Peekskill Common Council members and neighboring municipalities’ representatives at the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce breakfast last week at the Peekskill Central Fire House. Abby Luby photo

The City of Peekskill is growing in leaps and bounds. This year, some of the city’s biggest projects are expected to come to fruition.

At a Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce breakfast last week at the Peekskill Central Fire House, a large group of local business owners, Peekskill Common Council members and neighboring town representatives were updated on multiple projects that promise to have a major impact on the city.

“Peekskill has been transformed into a premier destination for the Hudson Valley region as well as the county,” Mayor Vivian McKenzie told the audience. “As our city continues to grow, I’m excited to share with you the economic developments and the projects that are underway here in the city.”

Soon to be completed are a list of downtown residential spaces. Occupancy for a new 181-unit market-rate apartment house at 1 Park Place is expected to begin later this summer. Construction of 22 residential units and two commercial spaces on South Division and Second Street is scheduled to be completed in July.

On Main Street and North Division Street, 13 residential units and five retail spaces are currently being renovated with completion expected in the next few months. In addition, 82 affordable housing rental apartments at 645 Main St. is expected to be completed early next year.

A variety of projects have been helped with financial incentives, said Deborah Post, chair of the Peekskill Industrial Development Agency (IDA). She said the IDA has been instrumental in obtaining financial incentives for the Fort Hill apartments, the Charles Point Marina, Factoria and Giuliante Machine Tool.

Post said the IDA has provided sales tax and mortgage tax exemptions for the two mixed-used developments at 1 Park Place and 216 S. Division St. Driving many of the projects is the goal to incentivize developers to provide local jobs, internships and apprenticeships.

“These are ongoing initiatives,” Post said.

One such project is the Kitchen Food Incubator, a shared-use kitchen for food entrepreneurs in the former Peekskill Fire House on Washington Street. A grant was submitted this month to the U.S. Economic Development Association, which will be matched by the IDA. When the incubator is in operation it expects to have a staff of at least five people, have fully equipped and licensed commercial kitchens, prep stations, storage, packaging, shipping, receiving and office space.

Linking the Peekskill waterfront to the downtown is driving some of the projects. Peekskill Planning Director Jean Friedman said recent commercial developments and other projects are just getting started.

“The projects that have been awarded through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) are located in the downtown waterfront areas linked by the Central Avenue corridor,” said Friedman. “The city is currently executing funding contracts with the state. The first step will be to hire a design consultant and hold public meetings and workshops to get the public input on each project.”

Improving the streetscape on Central Avenue, South Water Street, Railroad Avenue and a portion of South Street with a pedestrian and bicycle path is being considered to link the downtown to the train station. Expanding public gathering spaces for events is envisioned such as at North Division Street and Park Street. Closing two of the four lanes in front of the Chamber of Commerce space on South Division Street for a pedestrian plaza is proposed, leaving two lanes open for traffic.

Reconstruction of the 500-foot-long Fleischmann Pier is also part of expanding Charles Point Park with a bigger parking lot, a bus drop-off, restrooms, concessions and a picnic area.

“We hope to attract cruise ship operators who have expressed a strong interest in the pier along with fishing and sightseeing and day slips for motorized and non-motorized smaller vessels,” Friedman said.

Other ongoing or yet-to-begin projects include renovations and expansion to the Paramount Hudson Valley to include a new art gallery, a new Peekskill Boys & Girls Club anticipated to open in spring 2023, adding public Wi-Fi in Lepore and Pugsley parks and low-cost internet service for Bohlmann Towers and Barham House, an affordable housing complex for seniors.

Public art will have a bigger presence and will include light sculptures and murals on buildings and on the arches under Route 9.

“This will enhance Peekskill’s image as a center for art and culture,” Friedman said.

We'd love for you to support our work by joining as a free, partial access subscriber, or by registering as a full access member. Members get full access to all of our content, and receive a variety of bonus perks like free show tickets. Learn more here.