The public hearing on a zoning amendment to allow the development of 132 apartments in a multifamily residential project for independent senior living as well as a new parking structure for 120 Bloomingdale road was opened and closed at the Sept. 4 Common Council meeting in White Plains.
Consensus among councilmembers and residents who spoke during the hearing indicated the new proposal is preferred to the former approved plan for the site for a shopping mall with upscale retail and restaurants called the “Venue.”
The new proposal maintains the existing office building on the 6.7-acre site as well as the driveways in and out of the property from Bloomingdale Road. The satellite parking area off of Hale Avenue that is connected to the office building by a bridge walkway will also remain in place.
The apartment complex will be constructed on the existing surface parking lots running parallel to Bloomingdale Road with a new parking garage to be built between the residences and the existing office building to accommodate both the offices and the residential property.
The new proposal, called the Waterstone, is a project of National Development, a Massachusetts-based company and owner of the site.
The senior-living concept focuses on independence with socialization, and will not include an assisted-living component or any medical facility onsite, according to the developer. The projected demographic is people aged around 80 years and older, who are healthy and fit.
The developer explained that meals would be included in the monthly rent. However each apartment will include a full kitchen.
The lifestyle concept translates to a design with communal living options such as a restaurant-like main dining area, indoor pool, fitness center, salon and other amenities space for both active and passive activities.
The design of the building will be modern residential with an underground garage, amenities and communal space on the ground floor and residential levels above that for a five-story building.
Because of the steep grade of the property, the building will be built into the hill in back with two-stories visible from Hale Avenue at Livingston.
The area of the property near the existing satellite parking lot will be cleaned up by the developer and turned into a 13,000 sq. ft. publicly accessible green open space.
Patricia and Peter Lawrence, who own property on Hale Ave. adjacent to the building site, said they were concerned about setbacks and any potential damage that might be caused to their property during construction. They were also concerned about the possibility of increased ambulance presence in the neighborhood because of the elderly population targeted for the proposed residences.
The developer agreed to work with the couple to address their concerns and explained that no excavation was planned on any adjoining property and that any ambulances would access the property from Bloomingdale Road. The developer also noted that on other projects, agreements had been made with local public safety departments to keep ambulance sirens off when entering and exiting their properties.
Claudia Murphy, representing the Car Hart neighborhood association said neighbors had met with the developer and the general population of the neighborhood was happy about the new project and excited about the prospect of having a public park on Hale Avenue.
Council members asked for increased environmental considerations such as solar panels and green roofs.
The developer indicated it would build to LEED Silver environmental standard.