Home Economic Development Benchmark completes environmental review

Benchmark completes environmental review

A New England-based senior care company is proposing to build an 87-unit assisted living facility on Bedford Road in Pleasantville next to the United Methodist Church.

Benchmark Senior Living seeks to buy the 3.5-acre land from the church pending the village’s approval of the project.

The facility would include assisted living units, memory care units and other amenities such as transportation, dining, beauty salon and room service. The monthly rent could range from $5,500 to $8,000, depending on the type of unit and amenities. The facility would remain “competitive” with market prices and create 170 construction jobs and 70 permanent ones, said John Dragat, senior vice president of development at Benchmark.

As part of the State Environmental Quality Review, the village board of trustees at a recent meeting accepted the company’s “negative declaration,” which states the project has addressed all the adverse environmental impacts. Benchmark now awaits a public hearing where the village will review its rezoning application.

The project had faced opposition from neighbors on Maple Hill Road, once proposed as the site for a driveway entrance to the senior living facility. Since then, the proposed driveway has been moved to Bedford Road. Residents had also expressed concern about the visual impacts on the residential area. One change to the project is an eight-foot reduction in the building’s height and removal of the fourth story. The senior living facility will have three floors, two of which will be condensed to accommodate the same number of units proposed.

“We’re in the business of being fully transparent and responsive to everything asked of us,” Dragat said. “As questions came up, we’ve addressed them and prepared an analysis. That’s why we’ve been able to proceed through the process when many times these processes get stalled.” He added that the village has been “very receptive” to the need for senior living facilities with a surge in Westchester’s aging population.

The fiscal impact of project is very positive, Dragat said, pointing to the tax revenues the facility will generate, the jobs it will create and the impact it will have on businesses.

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