The Board of Yonkers Industrial Development Agency has advanced plans to build two downtown affordable housing projects which will provide 392 apartments to low-income residents combined. The agency passed two resolutions this week which will present the plans at public hearings and to negotiate economic development packages for the projects.
The first project, called the Warburton Riverview project was proposed by the Greyston Foundation and consists of a new 12-story building encompassing seven lots totaling 22,587 sq ft located at 54-56 Warburton Avenue, within walking distance to public transportation and the core of downtown Yonkers. The project also involves the demolition of portions of the existing buildings while preserving the historic facades along Warburton Avenue and will create 75 new affordable housing units. The second project involves a major renovation of all 317 affordable units at Cromwell Towers located on 77 Locust Avenue.
“Quality affordable housing for the working families of Yonkers continues to be one of our top priorities,” said Mayor Philip Amicone, chairman of the Yonkers IDA. “Whether we are creating new jobs, generating new tax revenue, or giving low-income Yonkers residents new and better housing options, we are committed to making wise investments that revitalize our city.”
The Warburton Riverview project is estimated to cost approximately $35 million and will offer new security systems, modern amenities and "green" features which are still being developed but might include using as many non volatile organic compound materials as possible, purchasing locally to reduce truck trips, recycling wherever possible and creating a green roof garden. The project will also offer a two-and a half story parking garage on the ground floors and community facilities.
The Cromwell Towers project is estimated to cost approximately $37 million and consists of completely renovating the 96 one-bedroom, 148 two-bedroom, and 73 three-bedroom apartments in the 12-story building with new floors, baths and kitchens. Security will also be upgraded and 16 of the housing units will be specially designed to accommodate people with disabilities.
Both housing projects will be leased to households earning no more than 60% of the area median gross income. If approved, Warburton Review is expected to take approximately two years to complete. The Cromwell Towers rehabilitation is expected to take approximately one year to complete.
Inducements from the IDA for both projects could include sales and use tax exemptions for materials and equipment used in construction, mortgage recording tax exemptions and structured property tax agreements. The Cromwell project could also involve the issuance of taxable IDA bonds.
“Creating better affordable housing options downtown not only improves the quality of life of working Yonkers families, it improves the quality of the whole area, attracting new businesses and workers,” said Ellen Lynch, president and CEO of Yonkers IDA.
After the public hearings, both projects must come back to the Yonkers IDA Board for final approval.