MacQuesten Development celebrated the latest piece of its Mount Vernon affordable housing initiative, with a ground-breaking ceremony on June 27 next to the Mount Vernon West train station.
The Pelham-based developer is building a $95.4 million, 17-story structure, with 189 apartments and street-level retail space, at 22 South West St.
Rents will be structured in four tiers of affordability, ranging from 60 percent to 110 percent of the area’s median income.
“We are creating a community within a community,” MacQuesten CEO Rella Fogliano said, with “income diversity within one building.”
She said tenants making $40,000 a year will live among tenants making $130,000 when the tower opens in about 18 months.
Last summer, MacQuesten opened The Modern, an 11-story, 81-unit apartment building one block away on Mount Vernon Ave. It is designed as workforce housing for people who make less than the area’s median income.
The company also owns the dilapidated train station, where it has plans to develop a mixed-use building. The station would be renovated or possibly razed and rebuilt.
All three projects are part of MacQuesten’s strategy of transforming an old industrial zone into a modern residential and retail district centered around mass transit.
The Metro-North Railroad station at Mount Vernon West is Westchester’s closest connection to Manhattan.
The developer has previously described the location as a 22-minute commute to Grand Central Terminal and, at the groundbreaking, said it was an 18-minute commute.
Commutes to Midtown actually range from 26 to 38 minutes and average 32 minutes. Trips to the first Manhattan stop, 125th Street in Harlem, take from 14 to 25 minutes and average 20 minutes.
The 22 South West St. tower will feature an outdoor terrace and an indoor lounge on the top floor, as well as a fitness room, central laundry and children’s playroom.
MacQuesten first had to clean up the site, removing soil contaminated at a former gas station and auto repair garage.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch has put more than $80 million of debt and equity into the project, Todd Gomez, a bank official, said at the ceremony.
The financing includes a tax-exempt bond mortgage, federal and state tax credits and $8.5 million of the developer’s equity.