Initial plans for a 52-unit condominium development off Route 9 were shown to the Peekskill Common Council on June 17 by developer Paul Guillaro of River View Place Associates of Peekskill LLC and architect Earl Goven of Blades & Goven Landscape Architects in Fairfield, Connecticut.
The development site at 505 South St. would be assembled from four lots. The developer is seeking a zoning change from the R-4 Low Density Multiple Residential zone to the R-6 Central Multiple Residential zone, which would allow 52 residential units on the site. At present, the lot at 505 South St. is 104,000 square feet and contains four residential units. The lots at 160 and 142 Smith St. are each 12,760 square feet and contain seven residential units and six residential units, respectively. The fourth lot, which would be folded into the development site, is at 20 Grove St. and has 18,005 square feet with one residential unit.
Guillaro, who also is president of Unicorn Contracting Corp. in Cold Spring, was asked why he decided to make this a condominium project rather than building rental apartments.
“We think there’s a swing right now. People do want home ownership,” he said. “There’s a whole other generation out there that are either downsizing or want to get out of the city and still have the money to buy and don’t want a house,” he said when explaining why he wasn’t necessarily targeting millennials in this development. “Empty nesters, snowbirds, people that want to move close to the train station for commuters,” were mentioned by Guillaro as prime prospects for the condos.
He said, “The whole thrust here is to show you a building that will be iconic and something that the city – you’ll know you’re in Peekskill when you’re going by this building and we took the design kind of from The Sagamore up in Lake George and we tried to adapt it to the site.”
Goven described the 2½-acre site sloping down toward the Hudson River as “a prominent spot.” He said that the building is relatively the same height as the nearby Parkway Plaza apartment building and compatible with the surroundings.
“We’re four stories. New construction’s probably 12 feet (per story) as opposed to 10, like it used to be back when Parkway Plaza was built,” he said.
Guillaro said there would be underground parking as well as surface parking, with 115 spaces. “We may look for relief on the amount of parking spaces because we don’t think we’ll need 115 spaces based on our occupancy,” he said. Goven said they may ask for relief from a requirement that surface parking have an island placed after every 12 spaces.
The units would be a mix of one- and two-bedrooms. Amenities would include a pool. Guillaro said it’s a bit early to determine prices for the units, “but I would say starting in the low $300s and working their way up to the $400s.”
When asked about sustainable design features, Goven said, “We’re early in the process but we certainly would institute any sustainable design rain gardens … whatever we can with the allowable subsurface conditions.” He also said he would look at possibly using solar panels to generate some electricity for the building. As far as using geothermal heating for the building, Goven said, “I think everything’s on the table at this point. We’ll certainly investigate and see if it’s possible.”
Peekskill’s Director of Planning Jean Friedman said that the next step would be for the council to vote on a resolution at its June 24 meeting to refer the requested zoning map change to the city’s Planning Commission for its recommendation. If the commission has no objections, then a public hearing can be scheduled, to be followed by a vote on the zoning change request.
“We approve the zoning first and then they would come back and apply for a special permit and site plan for the project,” she said.