GovernmentThe Northern Westchester Examiner

Peekskill Planning Officials React Favorably to Mixed-Income Rental Proposal

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The Peekskill Planning Commission last week reacted favorably to a conceptual plan to build 231 affordable rental units on a former waste generating site on Lower South Street.

Kearney Realty & Development Group, Inc., which constructed the well-received Lofts on Main mixed-use, artist housing development on Main Street in Peekskill, is looking to bring 129 one-bedroom and 102 two-bedroom apartments to the 11.6-acre property, currently owned by the city, that once was home to Karta Container & Recycling.

“I’m happy to see something is being done on the property,” said Planning Commission member Victor Drapala.

Noting prominent Peekskill business owner Louie Lanza was working with him, Ken Kearney, founder of Kearney Group, explained 37 units in one of the buildings would be dedicated to senior citizens. Approximately 100,000 square feet of commercial space is also envisioned.

“We think we have our arms around this project,” Kearney said.

Planning Commission member Mark Porterfield said the location would be ideal for a “Trader Joe’s-type specialty supermarket.”

“I’m not sure we’ll get a major tenant, but it lends itself to that,” Kearney said. “We’re very confident because of the lack of supply in locating tenants. We have to put the word out there quietly on the commercial and light industrial.”

Porterfield noted his biggest concern with the concept was the “connectivity” to the nearby train station and other destinations, a sentiment also mentioned by other colleagues.

“I see Louisa Street as a bit of a barrier. There are some uses not inviting to pedestrians,” said planner Frank Filiciotto. “There are a lot of trucks. Just crossing that street will be an impediment. Let’s make sure we don’t build an island.”

“Getting people across Louisa Street can be intimidating,” said Planning Commission Chairman Jeffrey Stern. “To make this project really successful, the city needs to make a major investment.”

Peekskill Director of Planning Jean Friedman said Kearney is proposing to build sidewalks in the area and agreed the intersection needs to be revamped to make it pedestrian-friendly.

“This will not be no man’s land for very long,” Friedman said. “You will have a distinct neighborhood down there.”

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