A panel of developers with projects in Westchester discussed the changing landscapes of the county’s urban centers during a discussion today presented by The Business Council of Westchester.
The event, “Reimagining Our Downtowns: The Residential Model” was held at Tappan Hill in Tarrytown and focused on what Westchester’s cities could do to become “go-to” communities in the region.
“The face, shape and dynamic of Yonkers, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle and White Plains are undergoing dramatic transformations, bringing new life and opportunities unlike anything we’ve seen in the last 50 years,” said Marsha Gordon, president and CEO of The Business Council of Westchester.
Joseph Markey of KeyBank, BCW Chairman Anthony Justic, Joseph Apicella of MacQuesten Development, Anthony Vulpi of Mill Creek Residential, BCW President & CEO Marsha Gordon, Martin Berger of Saber Real Estate Advisors, Seth Pinsky of RXR Realty and moderator Geoffrey Thompson of Thompson & Bender
Gordon said that to ensure Westchester’s continued success, it is important to understand what is driving those changes.
“We want to to do business in towns and cities that want us to be there. And they want to see their town or their city grow and develop kind of like a Brooklyn or a Hoboken,” said Anthony Vulpi, vice president of development for Mill Creek Residential Northeast Division, which is constructing Modera Hudson Riverfront in Yonkers, “and Yonkers definitely fit that bill.”
Modera Hudson Riverfront is a 324-unit residential community at 20 Water Grant St. in Yonkers, with studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments and more than 15,000 square feet of amenity space. The 572,500-square-foot complex sits along the Yonkers waterfront and will also feature a rooftop deck, pool and courtyards. Vulpi said the first rental units will be available for rent by early-2018.
Panelist Joseph Apicella, managing director of Pelham-based MacQuesten Development LLC, which is nearing completion of 11-story, 81-unit affordable housing complex The Modern in Mount Vernon, said it is important for developers to understand communities’ wants and needs.
“It’s less of a science than it is an art, in my opinion,” Apicella said. “Even if you’re a regional developer, you need to immerse yourself in the community and you’ll find out what they need, whether it be a restaurant row or whether it be roads infrastructure to allow for the development you want.”
Other panelists included Seth Pinsky, executive vice president of Long Island-based RXR Realty, which broke ground on a $120 million, 28-story mixed-use building in downtown New Rochelle in November, and Martin Berger, managing principal of Saber Real Estate Advisors, developer of mixed-use project The Collection in White Plains.