Potential Greenburgh Developer Gets Proactive in Defense of Housing Project

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New York State and especially Westchester County have been identified nationally as an attractive location for technology companies looking to relocate or even develop from the bottom up. With NYS tax incentives for tech companies very attractive, a big step in corporate relocation is the ability to house its employees – and that seems to be a market opportunity for developers in the lower Hudson Valley where urban sprawl has identified a lifestyle that might be on the wane, and a new generation of tech savvy employees called the Millennials (someone reaching adulthood around the year 2000) has gained everyone’s attention.

For the partners at JPI, developers of the proposed 272-unit high quality development project Jefferson at Saw Mill River, luxury rental apartments in studio, one and two bedroom configurations, with amenities on site and close by, including walking and biking trails, are the answer to the “suburban brain drain” – the mass exodus of desirable employees out of the lower Hudson Valley.

The proposed development has been considered bike oriented because of its proximity to the South County Trailway.

Meeting opposition from residents of the Town of Greenburgh to the development at the long-dormant and contaminated site of the former Akzo Nobel chemical plant, at One Lawrence Street, Greg Belew, JPI Managing Regional partner and Stephen Hutto, VP of Development have decided to reach out aggressively and explain why their particular proposal is good for Westchester and Greenburgh.

“We have not had any formal meetings yet,” Hutto explained, “but we have had push back from Greenburgh and Ardsley, mostly with regard to traffic concerns. It’s a knee jerk reaction without any real basis.”

Meeting with local businesses, and especially the larger employers, Hutto said the lack of housing for young professionals is a very real and palpable problem. “These people are the biggest taxpayers in the county.”

The partners mentioned Regeneron and Montefiore specifically as entities with urgent need for quality employee housing.

Hutto also thinks some people are confusing the residential project with the large retail and movie complex just across the way, which will provide nearby access to entertainment to satisfy the work-live-play lifestyle of the Millennials, who Hutto said are not interested in long and expensive commutes.

In fact, the partners at JPI said the site’s access to biking and walking trails was a plus for a generation that does not have the same love affair with the car as its predecessors. Millennials seek out walkable downtowns and access to mass-transit.

Hutto and Belew agreed that the desire for green construction and green living was another attraction and that multi-family diverse housing options actually created a smaller carbon footprint for residents.

“This goes for the Baby Boomers as well as the Millennials,” said Hutto. “It’s like the cycle of life. The empty nesters are also looking for diverse housing options, of which there’s not much to choose from in Westchester County.

JPI has a website jeffersonsawmill.com and a Facebook page where you can find out more about the proposal and checkout some research about housing trends in the northeast.

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