Landowner scraps proposed Jefferson at Saw Mill project

By Aleesia Forni

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Plans for a 272-unit residential complex complex on a brownfield cleanup site in Ardsley have been scrapped, according to Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, citing an email from a representative of Akzo Nobel, the Dutch company that owns the 11-acre property off the Saw Mill River Parkway.

“This email is to inform you that Akzo Nobel has terminated contractual relations with a prior potential purchaser of its site at 1 Lawrence St. in Ardsley and has commenced marketing the property for Commercial or Industrial development,” wrote Richard Rucoba, public affairs manager for Akzo Nobel, in an email to Feiner.

Formerly the location of an Akzo Nobel chemical plant, Texas-based developer JPI Multifamily Communities had planned to construct on the vacant lot an apartment complex named the Jefferson at Saw Mill, a four-story 239,000-square-foot building with 438 combined parking spaces in both a garage and an uncovered lot.

But the development, which was the subject of multiple public hearings before the Greenburgh Town Board and a petition signed by more than 1,300 people, faced an onslaught of opposition from the community. Residents’ grievances ranged from potential flooding risks to the impact the residential units would have on the Ardsley school system. A lack of parking and increased traffic around the property, especially when coupled with the number of large residential housing complexes going up in the area, were also chief among their concerns. The Akzo Nobel property, on which JPI had a purchase contract, is directly across the Saw Mill River Parkway from Rivertowns Square, where development is now underway to construct a 200-plus-unit, 277,000-square-foot luxury residential building.

“People were totally livid,” Feiner said of the public’s reaction to the proposed development.

Ardsley Mayor Peter R. Porcino said he was pleased the Jefferson project would not be moving forward as proposed.

“It was ill-conceived and did not comport with any definition of good regional planning,” Porcino said.

Rucoba, when reached by phone, had no comment, and calls and emails to both Akzo Nobel and JPI were unreturned at press time.

Feiner said he would continue working with Akzo Nobel to find “an acceptable use” for the site, one that would have the smallest negative impact on the quality of life for the residents of Ardsley. Porcino said he believes the location is best suited for a light industrial use.

“Ideally, whatever would generate the least amount of traffic,” Feiner said, adding that he has also reached out to the Department of Environmental Conservation to discuss both the extent and the multimillion-dollar clean up of the brownfield site that JPI had intended to fund.

“The village would like to see the property cleaned up, as Akzo Nobel has shirked its responsibilities to do so,” Porcino said.

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About the author

Aleesia Forni
Aleesia Forni covers transportation, tourism, nonprofits and residential real estate for the Westchester County Business Journal. She previously worked as a financial reporter for the online newsletter Prospect News. She started with the Westchester County Business Journal in April 2016.

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