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Common Council Corral:
Department of Public Works Garage to begin construction in April.
Bank Street Commons in final negotiations with hotel.
Council still lukewarm to changing zoning in BR1 and BR2 Districts to clear way for Jefferson at White Plains. Oliva more positive as parking is explained by Habel.
Old Oak Ridge neighborhood positive on "MacMansion" bans in outer neighborhood zoning. Zoning showcases set for several neighborhood associations.
The Susan Habel Zoning Show hits the road. Battle Hill Association this Thursday. North Street, Rosedale and Gedney Farms Associations on April 5. North Broadway in May
By John F. Bailey
CityLine: March 21, 2001 -- City Hall
The Common Council work session Tuesday evening was told that the long awaited Pepe' Stop N Shop project is about to begin construction in April with the new Department of Public Works garage scheduled to be completed before Election Day, 2001. Stop N Shop representative Tim Mahoney said he expected the supermarket would be opened in late summer 2002.
The Council was briefed by Peter Gilpatrick of LCOR of new developments on the Bank Street Commons "Twin Sentinals" project. They learned ALCOR is close to signing a letter of intent with a hotel chain, enabling the project to get underway with a groundbreaking on July 4, and be built nonstop with completion in two years.
A jubilant Gilpatrick said Bank Street was "absolutely on schedule," with plans for the foundations and parking structures for Phase 1 of the project to be delivered April 2. These would be followed in 30 days by plans for footings and structures for the North Tower apartment complex, and in June by plans for footings and foundations for the South Tower, and by July, plans for the South Tower itself.
He announced progress was so smooth that the project would be able to be built "straight across," with no stoppages, enabling beginning occupancy in 20 months in February 2003 of the North Tower. He expected the South Tower to be completed by July, 2003.
The hotelier, whom he refused to name, had become attracted to the site after first looking at the Landmark site in Greenberg that ALCOR is also developing. "When they heard about White Plains, they dropped interest in the Landmark site immediately," Gilpatrick said. He expects the hotel to be completed before the South Tower opened in July 2003, because at 100,000 square feet, it is a smaller building.
"The money is in line. We're in great shape," he announced. York Hunter is the contractor, the firm that is building Avalon Tower in New Rochelle.
Joseph "Bud" Nicoletti, Commissioner of Public Works, reported that structural steel for the foundations had been ordered seven weeks ago and work would begin on the new garage next month.
Nicoletti said the Youth Bureau reconstruction at Eastview School has had its plans sent to the State Education Department for review, and they were expected to be approved in about five months.
Mayor Joseph Delfino reported "I've notified Senator Nick Spano who will sheperd it (the Youth Bureau plans) through the Department of Education for us."
Nicoletti added that the Youth Bureau renovation scheduled for Eastview has been enhanced to provide 9,000 square feet of offices, instead of the 7,800 feet originally planned. "We carved up a hallway," he said to find the extra 1,200 feet. "everyone's happy. It's hard to believe."
The Youth Bureau project will be put out to bid upon state education department approval. He estimated that once approved, the renovation at Eastview would take just a month and a half of construction time, enabling it to house the Bureau by October of this year, when the old Department of Public Works garage is scheduled for demolition. Nicoletti said the new garage, being a prefabricated building would be completed by October, and the city would use both the old DPW facility and the new for two months. He allowed it was possible to be in the new garage before Election Day.
Nicoletti said the City had received "a clean bill of health" from the State Department of Environmental Conservation on the Brockway Place site, which he said would start the first week in April.
Tim Mahoney of Stop N Shop said that while Pepe' was demolitioning the Kensico Avenue DPW garage, they would be preparing their foundations, taking care not to "get too far out ahead" of the new Pepe' parking garage.
Nick Pepe' of Bianco & Pepe' who will build the new DPW garage, demolish the old, and build the Stop N Shop/Pepe' parking facility said his present tenant situation at Westchester One was such that his parking needs would be met until the time the new parking garage was ready.
Susan Habel presented a new parking study describing the parking and residential possibility mix in the area of Mamaroneck Avenue running from 300 Mamaroneck Avenue to Bryant Avenue, better known in "Habelese" as the BR-1 and BR-2 districts.
Councilperson Pauline Oliva who is concerned about approving the extra 5 feet of height for the street level retail establishments in return for a trade for building residential units on top of retail units, said the parking picture was made clearer by Habel's study. The change is to encourage restaurant development along the Mamaroneck Avenue corridor and entice developers to building residential above the retail, "to develop an energy in =an area where p[eople can get out their cars and walk up the street."
The Council appeared not entirely convinced that approving residential on top of retail the way the new zoning is proposed was the way to go. But, they appeared slightly more inclined to the proposal. Council Approval of the BR-1 and BR-2 zoning change is needed before the 300 Mamaroneck Avenue Jefferson at White Plains 8 story apartment complex can be built.
Representatives of the Old Oak Ridge Association in attendance expressed enthusiasm for the Planning Department's zoning plan for the outer neighborhoods of North Street, Havilands and Rosedale and Hillair Circle Neighborhoods which propose increasing maximum square footage from 12,500 square feet per dwelling unit to 30,000 square feet per dwelling unit. Ms. Habel added that a key issue the Council needed to address was whether to define a specific FAR and specific setbacks to limit development of what Ms. Habel defined "MacMansions" that have been built out to the edge of certain properties.
Habel announced that the city proposed zoning changes would be discussed with the Battle Hill Association on Thursday evening. Contact Virginia Falzarano in Battle Hill for more information. At the North Street Association and Rosedale and Gedney Farms Associations in a joint meeting on April 5 and with the North Broadway Association in May. Contact Marc Pollitzer for information on the North Street Association meeting.