An economic analysis of Kirby Commons, a $130.5 million apartment and retail project proposed for Mount Kisco, was presented May 14 to the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency.
A joint venture of the Gotham Organization and Charter Realty & Development, of Manhattan, wants to build 217 apartments, 53,000 square feet of retail space and two parking garages on commuter parking lots at the Metro-North Railroad train station.
The properties are owned by the village and encompass 7.4 acres on either side of Main Street and Kirby Plaza.
A four-story building on South Moger would include a specialty grocer, according to the developer’s IDA application, and possibly a pharmacy, restaurants, brewery-beer garden and fitness studio on the ground level. Apartments would fill the top floors. Amenities would include a conference center, lounge, coworking space, gym, garden, interior courtyard and rooftop greenspace.
A five-story structure on North Moger could include a walk-in medical clinic, restaurants, fitness center, retail and community gallery.
The developers would lease 202 apartments at market rates and 15 as affordable housing, at 90% of Westchester’s average median income, or about $84,325 in 2018 dollars.
The garages would have 896 parking spaces, including 336 permit spaces for commuters.
A project of this magnitude could produce an estimated $70 million in property taxes over 30 years, according to a report by Camoin 310 Associates, an economic development consultant. But as village-owned parcels, they produce no property tax revenue.
The developers negotiated a property tax deal with the village that would save them $35 million and generate $35 million for the village, over 30 years.
The developers are asking the IDA for up to $3.9 million in sales tax relief and $913,000 in mortgage recording tax relief. They have lined up $4 million in Empire State Development grants. Government subsidies from the village, county and state total an estimated $43.8 million.
IDA board member Richard McSpedon Jr. questioned why the developers would be granted 30 years of property tax relief when they are proposing only 15 subsidized apartments, “considering the need for affordable housing.”
The Kirby Commons project includes other public benefits, Bryan Kelly, an executive vice president of Gotham, replied, such as replacement of commuter parking spaces. And without long-term tax relief, “We can’t raise equity. It won’t work.”
The IDA is scheduled to consider inducing the project – granting preliminary approval for county tax subsidies – on June 11.
If the developers get final approval, construction could begin early next year and the buildings could be occupied by the end of 2023.
Despite current economic uncertainty, Kelly said, “We’re resilient. …I think we can make this a win-win for the county and village and for Charter-Gotham.”