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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XIX • Number 3 • January 26 - February 1, 2012 •


230 St. shopping plans come into focus th

By BRENDAN McHUGH The city’s Economic Development Corporation is examining five bids for the West 230th Street development, ranging from a single supermarket to a 16-story mixed-use development with 200 units of housing. The development will rise near the corner of 230th Street and Broadway, sandwiched between the elevated No. 1 subway and the Major Deegan Expressway. A source close to the project laid out basic details of the plans and stressed that they were in no particular order. The first, which the source dubbed the “Foodtown murderer,” is a 72,000-square-foot supermarket with 300 parking spaces on the roof. Foodtown, which was recently renovated, is directly across the street. Another proposal is a two-story 32,000-square-foot building with a supermarket on the ground floor. The second floor would be office space, and 90 parking spots would be available at grade level. A third project has 133,000 square feet of retail space as a two-story building. It would be a mix of businesses, such as a specialty grocer, and national chains. There would also be 130 parking spaces below grade.

The last two projects both include housing. A16-story 200-unit building would have a 300-space parking garage and 32,000 square feet of retail, such as a restaurant and possibly a movie theater. The remaining project has 184,000 square feet of retail, potentially including a supermarket, a fitness center and other shops. There would be 66 units of housing and 217 parking spaces. There was no information about the height of the building. The source speculated that any office space would be easily filled up by a medical center either looking to expand or to add storage space. Because of the location, the traffic concerns and quality of life issues, Community Board 8 passed a resolution earlier this month recommending to EDC that housing not be included in the winning bid. EDC said they would review each proposal based on a number of criteria, including community input. A decision by EDC is expected sometime in early February. The site now holds a 75,000-square-foot parking lot. The city required that at least one commercial parking

space be provided for every 1,000 square feet of commercial development and that the number of residential spaces be equal to at least 50 percent of the total number residential units. Community Board 8 has asked the EDC to ensure that the public still has use of the parking facilities, even if they are not shopping in that building specifically. The city also asked that each building achieve at a Leadership in Energry and Environmental Design (LEED) rating of at least Silver by the federal government. This is the second attempt to develop this project over the past decade. Ceruzzi Holdings was about the close on a deal early in 2011 but was unable to, forfeiting a $1 million purchase price before even putting a shovel into the ground. Locally, the Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corporation is involved with one of the two housing projects, though they claim to have confidentiality agreements not to discuss the development. In 2005, when the city first issued the request for proposals, KRVCDC submitted a proposal similar to the one for the 16-story building.

Hebrew Home explores options for expansion on Palisade Ave. By BRENDAN McHUGH The Hebrew Home is planning to add new buildings for more senior services on the adjacent 14-acre plot, recently sold to them by the Passionist Fathers of Riverdale. A meditation center, possibly an underground garage and a consolidated entrance are also preliminary ideas Hebrew Home president and CEO Daniel Reingold said he has for the future. The land was bought for $16 million about two months ago from the Passionists, who could no longer afford the land because of increased expenses, fewer retreat guests and fewer new recruits. “We are excited about this opportunity,” Reingold said Friday. “We think it will be something the community will be proud of. We hope to involve the community early on in discussions about what we’re going to try and do.” He added that the Hebrew Home will go through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), which requires months of public review and community involvement. “The Hebrew Home is considered among the best, if not the best, nursing institution in the country,” Assemblyman Jeffrey

Dinowitz said. “Increasing their ability to provide services to seniors is a good thing.” Reingold said he was excited to work with the community, noting that the Hebrew Home was the first institution in the area to submit a “master plan” to the community board. “This is very premature, but our plan would be to demolish the existing structures and replace them with an environmentally sound green building,” he said, calling the larger building an “eyesore.” An existing private house on the property, while attractive, is not handicap-accessible and would not be usable by the seniors at the home. “It looks pretty from the outside, but it’s completely shot. It would cost a fortune [to renovate], and what do you do with it?” he asked. Going through ULURP, the Hebrew Home doesn’t expect to break ground for at least three years. “We’re very happy that Hebrew Home is making their plans public, and we look forward to being a partner with a decision that’s helpful to the community and the public,” said Robert Fanuzzi, chairman of Community Board 8.

“Before they get to the construction phase, they need to think about how it affects their neighbors,” he cautioned, citing

traffic woes. Reingold said the Hebrew Home has offered its employees incentives for carpooling and

taking mass transit, and in the past year the number of cars on the lot has been reduced by Continued on Page 3

City Council Speaker and possible mayoral candidate Christine Quinn joined Councilman G. Oliver Koppell and spoke with seniors at the Hebrew Home last Friday. It was Quinn’s second visit to Riverdale in two months.

Riverdale Review, January 26, 2012  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471

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