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September 22, 2019Cart

Business

by Westchester County Business Journal
by WCBJ

Peekskill aims to redevelop property on Lower South Street

City officials have put a call out for developers to revamp a brownfield site near the Peekskill waterfront.

The city issued a request for proposals in April to find an “experienced” developer to transform an 11.5-acre parcel between Lower South Street and Route 9, south of Louisa Street and Travis Lane.

“There’s been a dialogue ongoing between developers and also Realtors … that indicates that people are investigating the property,” said Jim Pinto, the city’s economic development specialist.

The property, which serves as a parking area and offloading site for the city’s Department of Public Works, sits along a mostly industrial and warehouse corridor that includes businesses such as BASF Corp. and South Street Sand and Gravel.

The city received an initial appraisal of the property in January 2017 that valued the land between $3.5 million and $5 million.

“It’s a big piece and it could really set the tone as the gateway as you come into Peekskill,” Pinto said. “I see it as having huge potential. It could be just about anything.”

The property is one of the largest available development sites in the city and officials hope to capitalize on its proximity to both the Hudson River and the Peekskill Metro-North station, which is less than a mile away. It is also less than a mile from the Holiday Inn Express & Suites on John Walsh Boulevard, along with restaurants near the train station and in downtown Peekskill.

“It would certainly attract people to another part of the city,” Pinto said, “an area that’s easily accessible.”

The area is zoned for a range of uses, from restaurants and retail to schools or personal offices.

“The city is looking for uses that create jobs,” Pinto said.

He added that the city is encouraging potential respondents to the RFP to submit plans for a mixed-use development.

“It will probably not be completely one type of use because we do recognize the importance of creating more than just another development that stands alone, yet requires other support and other conveniences off site,” Pinto said. “We’re hoping to have possibly a sports center or a business center would be very popular today.”

The city also owns another parcel of land across Louisa Street that is used for parking and storage, one that officials may be open to redeveloping in the future.

“With a latter phase of the project, we could possibly make those available if the developer is willing to relocate our facility,” Pinto said.

The brownfield formerly served as a salvage yard for a number of companies for roughly a half century, Pinto said, and the city began to take over the property 15 years ago.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has already issued a decision document for the site, outlining the remediation plan for the brownfield.

“It is ready to be taken over and worked on by a developer,” Pinto said.

Pinto said the city is also open to developers partnering with another firm which has experience in brownfield cleanup.

In order for the site’s developer to take advantage of more lucrative tax credits under the brownfield program, the cleanup must be completed by the end of 2019.

“Which is an aggressive schedule, but a manageable schedule,” Pinto noted, “which is why we’ve focused on brownfield experience in a development team, but also a feasible mixed-use proposal that would be compelling for the city to consider.”

Responses to the RFP are due by May 24. Following the deadline, those proposals will be reviewed by the city, and presentations from developers to the Common Council are scheduled to start in mid-June.

Pinto said he hopes the city will select a developer for the property by July.

This is not the first time the city has requested feedback from developers regarding the land along Lower South Street. In 2012, the city issued a request for qualifications from developers interested in redeveloping the site.