A stretch of storefronts along East Post Road in White Plains could soon be updated and built upon to create 18 apartments and restaurant space in the city’s downtown.
The New York City development company that owns the building at 199-201 E. Post Road seeks a site plan amendment that would allow it to add three stories to the one-story building, with six apartments on each floor. The roughly 24,000-square-foot addition would bring apartments to a strip of the downtown that is mostly single-level commercial buildings.
The quarter-acre lot has a one-story building that was formerly home to the Thirsty Turtle restaurant and bar. The current owner, an affiliated company of New York City development group Sackman Enterprises Inc., bought the property for $800,000 in 2017.
The design for its redevelopment, from Sullivan Architecture PC, calls for all units to be one-bedroom and also adds a courtyard to the property for the restaurant’s use. The building went into foreclosure and was described by the project’s attorney, Janet Giris, as being in a state of disrepair at a city planning board meeting in September.
The restaurant space would include a restaurant and beer garden, intended to be more “family-oriented,” than its prior occupant, Giris said. A representative for the developer said the apartments would likely rent for between $1,700 and $1,900 per month.
One wrinkle to the proposal: it includes no parking. The building does not currently offer any off-street parking and there are no plans to add any. The developer will instead pay a $260,000 fee in lieu of providing parking.
That caught the attention of the planning board. One board member shrugged it off as the “developer’s risk,” while another questioned whether it would set a precedent allowing other developers to forgo parking.
“This is the first time, as far as I know, that we have a development that will provide no parking on site,” said Lynn Oliva, a planning board member. “We’ve had many developments in and around this area that are all providing parking, so why this one, number one, is so special that it shouldn’t have to provide parking is a question.”
Giris said the decision to forgo parking is, in one sense, a practical matter. The quarter-acre has no natural place for parking.
“We’re doing a lot of development now where units are a little smaller, they’re occupied by millennials,” Giris said. “Millennials don’t have cars as a practical matter, they’re big users of Uber, big users of Zipcars.”
The apartments could arrive to an area of the city becoming increasingly residential. The lot is just a few hundred feet from the former Westchester Pavilion mall site, where Lennar Multifamily Communities has a proposal under city review that would build two, 24-story residential towers with 707 rental apartments on the vacant lot. It’s also not far from another Lennar project, which already has city approval, which would add 434 apartments to the corner of East Post Road and Mamaroneck Avenue.
This project represents the first in the county for Sackman Enterprises. The company launched 45 years ago by focusing on restoring historic brownstones on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, according to a description on its website. The company has holdings in residential and commercial properties in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and New Jersey.
The White Plains building complies with city zoning and requires approval only from the planning board. The board adjourned the matter in October to its monthly November meeting.