When the Harrison Planning Board meets Tuesday evening, it is expected to hear a committee report on whether to move forward with the environmental review of a proposal submitted by Senlac Ridge Partners to demolish an office building at 2700 Westchester Ave. and build 69 high-end townhouses.
A Draft Scope that sets the parameters for a full environmental review has been prepared and would need to be adopted in order to move the project forward.
The building is on approximately 24.6 acres along with a second office building with an address of 2500 Westchester Ave. Both office buildings were constructed in the 1980s, have paved parking lots and landscaping along with a common driveway connecting to Westchester Avenue.
Senlac has told Harrison that the office building at 2700 Westchester Ave. is underperforming. It also has said the same situation exists regarding its office building at 701 Westchester Ave. in White Plains. It has asked the City of White Plains for approval to demolish it and put up a 360-unit apartment building.
“The 2700 office building on the property is largely empty and underutilized, a condition that has been seriously exacerbated by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and has become functionally obsolete,” attorney Seth Mandelbaum of White Plains law firm McCullough, Goldberger & Staudt LLP said in a letter to Harrison Supervisor Ron Belmont and members of the Town/Village Board. “This redevelopment will result in a combination of complementary uses that will create a true mixed-use campus.”
Senlac proposes subdividing the property, located on the north side of Westchester Avenue just east of Knightsbridge Manor Road, so that its office building at 2500 Westchester Ave. will be on its own lot.
Senlac is asking Harrison for a zoning text amendment to allow a multi-family residential project on the site. It has submitted a Concept Site Plan for the project prepared by the firm Minno Wasko Architects and Planners.
Mandelbaum pointed out that there is an adjacent residential subdivision on Knightsbridge Manor Road. He said that the property originally was zoned for residential, then was rezoned in 1981 when Hitachi asked to construct an office building, and then was rezoned back to residential so that 15 high-end single-family homes could be constructed.
Mandelbaum said that the zoning change that Senlac is seeking is consistent both with the 2013 Harrison Comprehensive Plan and with the approach taken by Harrison that allowed the development of Wegmans Supermarket, Toll Brothers’ apartments at 103-105 Corporate Park Drive, Life Time Fitness, the Hyatt House Hotel and other projects.
Senlac also submitted a planning report by the firm AKRF that Mandelbaum said shows the proposal will provide a “residential product that does not current exist” in Harrison.
“The proposed townhouses are anticipated to be attractive to young professionals and empty-nesters, since at the anticipated price point young families would be much more likely to purchase a single-family home with a backyard in a residential neighborhood, as opposed to attached townhouses on small lots,” Mandelbaum said.
Senlac Ridge Partners, headquartered in Morristown, New Jersey, bills itself as “an entrepreneurial private equity firm targeting a broad range of investment opportunities spanning real estate and non-real estate assets and businesses.”