Developers sought for Chicken Island in Yonkers

By Aleesia Forni

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Chicken Island Chicken Island in Yonkers. File photo.

The city of Yonkers issued a request for proposals from developers interested in redeveloping what is now an underused municipal parking lot called Chicken Island. The city aims to redevelop the roughly 6-acre downtown property into an “impactful, mixed-use site that contains a government center and a combination of uses.” 

“It could be a mini-development,” said Wilson Kimball, Yonkers planning and development commissioner.

The city, along with the Yonkers Community Development Agency, stipulates that the new development must include a new government center, one that can accommodate between 350 to 450 employees. The development must also provide for a new firehouse to replace the 89-year-old Fire House 1 on New School Street — “pretty, but not very functional,” said Kimball — that was condemned last year. The developer would also be responsible for the demolition of the old firehouse.

A mixed-use development, parking and public amenities will also be required as part of the proposal. The city is open to the demolition of 87 Nepperhan Ave., the former Yonkers Health Center adjacent to City Hall that houses the city Parking Violations Bureau, planning and development offices and other city departments, and the Government Center parking garage.

The city will consider developer’s qualifications including:

  • Experience with projects of similar scope and size
  • The skills and qualifications of development team
  • The track record on prior projects, including quality of workmanship, planning, construction, project management and scheduling
  • Adherence to commitments, budgets and timetables
  • The estimated time of project completion

The chosen developer may be eligible for some state tax credits for cleanup costs on the brownfield site.

Yonkers aims to redevelop Chicken Island in a way that amplifies its efforts to create a dynamic waterfront and that sparks widespread economic growth. Its vision for the site includes high-quality architecture and an urban design that promotes a walkable, safe downtown district that reflects the site’s character as a “downtown hub of activity.”

Chicken Island takes its name from a former island on the site in the Saw Mill River occupied by a chicken farm in the 19th century. Kimball said the area has been underdeveloped for more than 40 years. Plans for a mixed-use redevelopment that included a sports stadium never got off the ground.

Interested developers should note these dates:

  • Information sessions: 11 a.m. Sept. 12, 2 p.m. Sept. 15 at 2 p.m.
  • Deadline to submit written questions: 5 p.m. Sept. 21
  • Deadline to respond to questions: 5 p.m. Sept. 28
  • Deadline to submit proposals: 4 p.m. Oct. 6

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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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