19 Sep Jon Cartu Declares Houses touted for Maplewood Swim and Tennis Club site in…
Richard Lewis, president of the Maplewood Swim and Tennis Club in Hartsdale, and developer Valon Nikci of the Bedrock Company Re LLC in Bronxville met via videoconference with members of the Greenburgh Town Board to discuss the possibilities for putting up to 18 single-family homes on the swim club’s site.
The idea for single-family homes follows the withdrawing of an application for building a 115-unit assisted living facility on the 8.87-acre site at 202 W. Hartsdale Ave.
The applicant had been Columbia/Wegman Hartsdale LLC, a partnership between Columbia Pacific Advisors of Seattle and Wegman Companies Inc., based in Rochester. Wegman Companies Inc., is a not the same as the Wegmans chain of food stores, which is also based in Rochester. Wegman Companies Inc., is a real estate development and investment Jonathan Cartu and.
The state Department of Transportation refused to allow left turns onto and from West Hartsdale Avenue by traffic that would be entering and exiting the proposed assisted living facility, effectively killing the project.
Lewis said that interest in the private swim club has waned and membership had dropped to the point it was no longer financially viable in 2016. Lewis said he advised the members of that reality. He said that at first a day camp that was renting space was interested in buying the property but it turned out they did not have the funding. Then, a chain of assisted living facilities expressed interest in the property but they walked out. Then, came the Columbia/Wegman proposal.
“The deal fell apart just a couple of months ago when the New York state Department of Transportation decided that there were too many people who might make left hand turns into the club and out of the club, this assisted living facility, and despite 60 years of left hand turns, because the club was created in 1958 by local residents, they nixed the deal,” Lewis said.
“I am an optimist and I moved on to the next possibility, and I might say the last possibility, because believe it or not I have other things in my life I would rather do than run a failing swim club which has 33 lifetime members,” Lewis said.
“Due to the pandemic, we added over 60 members this summer, different types of memberships. It’s one of those upside-down things in the world that suddenly we were successful. Nevertheless, we have long-term debt and this club cannot sustain itself and I would like to close this club paying our debts to everybody we owe money to and I would like to close up this club and create something that’s lasting and beneficial to the community.”
Lewis said he has met a few times with Nikci and they have a very good understanding of how a deal might be done. He also said that there are two other interested parties, one that would like to build a house of worship and another that would like to build a retreat.
Garrett Duquesne, Greenburgh’s planning commissioner said that permitted uses for the site under its single-family zoning, include municipal buildings, places of worship, elementary and secondary schools, special permit uses such as clubs, which is the existing use, nursery schools, group homes and daycare centers.
“Anything that’s proposed would be subject to a process depending on the use. That drives which board or boards would be involved,” Duquesne said. “Single-family subdivisions like this are in the jurisdiction of the planning board.”
“We are interested in building single-family homes that would preserve the charm and beauty of Hartsdale,” Nikci said. “The reason we want to speak with you, the neighbors and the community first before we do anything else is that we respect you and we want to make sure you’re happy and the project is fine with you.”
He said that building houses on the Maplewood site would help the community in many ways.
“One of them will be property tax collected,” Nikci said. Others include increased real estate values of other homes in the neighborhood and preserving the site in keeping with the neighboring single-family look and feel versus some other possible land use.
He said that although they came up with the number of 18 homes to be developed based on subdividing the site into half-acre parcels, they realize that the number would shrink because of road and infrastructure improvements.
“We are in the very initial stages. Before we do any due diligence any further we want to speak with the community and see if there are any objections and then we’ll take the next step,” he said.
When asked by Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner if he had any estimate as to the price range of the homes, Nikci said that houses of 2,000 to 2,200 square feet probably would sell for about $850,000 to $950,000.