New Rochelle developer Robert C. Young sees North Avenue near Iona College as a prime place for development, and he is backing his belief with two projects budgeted at $90 million.
The city’s Industrial Development Agency gave the Young Cos. LLC the go-ahead for the first project on Jan. 25.
“I’m super excited,” Young said. “We’re going to change the face of North Avenue on that block.”
The project is called North Avenue East and is centered on 2.15 acres at 583 North Ave., near Fifth Avenue. Young has assembled 13 parcels over the past eight years to create the site.
His designs call for a $60 million, five-story, 151,000-square-foot building with 114 apartments, almost 21,000 square feet of retail space and indoor parking.
The apartments will be on the top three floors, the garage on the first two floors and retail space on the ground floor. A parking lot will have space for another 60 vehicles
Eleven of the apartments will be rented as affordable housing.
The apartments will be marketed for empty nesters, young professional couples with no children and single professionals.
Young said he wants to keep existing retail tenants in his buildings, including Prestige Barber Shop, Smoke House Tailgate Grill and Golden NY Bagels. They rent space from him across the street, where Young’s second project is planned.
“The first step is to keep the mom and pop establishments,” he said, and then “supplement them with A-franchise type operations to bring more people to the street.”
The IDA has approved estimated benefits of $4.7 million in savings from payments in lieu of taxes over 20 years, $1.2 million in sales tax exemptions and $395,000 on the mortgage recording tax.
Construction is expected to create 150 jobs. Young projects 25 to 35 full-time retail jobs and four to five full-time and three to four part-time residential jobs.
He says construction will begin by the early fourth quarter and finish in around 20 months.
The Sullivan Architectural Group from Fairfield, Connecticut, and VHB Engineering, Surveying and Landscape Architecture, White Plains, are on the project team.
In a year or so, Young hopes to start construction on North Avenue West, a similar building on 0.86 acres across the street.
The six-story building, as currently designed, would have 75 apartments, including eight affordable units, 7,135 square feet of retail space, and parking.
The project is budgeted at $30 million.
Young, who retired as an Air Force major in 1997, has 27 years in real estate development and management. He has developed several projects in New Rochelle, including conversion of the Knickerbocker Press factory on Webster Avenue into lofts. More recently he built a 16-unit apartment building and retail space at 730 North Ave., on the site of a former gas station across the street from Iona College.
He praised the IDA board and Luis Aragon, commissioner of development, for “getting the big picture” on developing North Avenue.