After receiving the go-ahead from the White Plains Common Council, The Esplanade will be converted from a senior-citizen residence to apartments and studios as part of a $35 million mixed-use redevelopment.
The buildings at 95 S. Broadway and 4 Lyon Place will be changed over to 212 luxury studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments that are expected to draw 346 new residents. The aging exterior of the 15-story main building on South Broadway will be replaced. The project will also feature 9,000 square feet of street-level retail and restaurant space and 9,000 square feet of medical office space in the two buildings.
Construction is expected to begin in 2017 and will take about 15 to 18 months to complete, said Geoffrey Thompson, spokesman for The Esplanade’s owners.
Formerly the White Plains Hotel, The Esplanade in 1994 was converted into a residence for seniors, Thompson said. The building’s 141 residents last November were notified by the owners that the 45-year-old building required a “multiyear complete overhaul” and residents would have to relocate to new homes.
Thompson said 16 seniors are still living in the building, with five scheduled to move by the end of April. Of the remaining 11, eight have indicated an interest in moving to The Esplanade Annex, a hotel connected to The Esplanade by a pedestrian walkway. The space has been offered as a temporary home for the seniors, as reconstruction of the annex will not begin until after work on the main building is underway.
Thompson said that the property owners have worked extensively with residents and their families to help them find alternative housing.
White Plains Councilwoman Beth N. Smayda said at the April 4 council meeting where the proposal was unanimously approved that a social worker had been enlisted to “make sure everybody’s concerns are addressed and people are made aware of all of their alternatives” in the situation. “All of this has been achieved without any formal notice to vacate” the building, she said, but through “informal, consensual, and I understand amicable discussions.”
The Esplanade of White Plains Venture Partnership, the group of investors behind the project, will pay the city a $626,500 open space fee to be used for park, playground and other recreational purposes.
The developer also was required to pay a $250,000 fee in lieu of providing nine additional parking spaces.
Esplanade partners recently notified the state Department of Labor that 55 employees at the Senior Residences on South Broadway will be laid off in July because of the renovations project. Members of Unite Here Local 100, most worked in food service and housekeeping.
Those workers will not be rehired once the construction is complete, Thompson said.
The redevelopment of The Esplanade is part of an ongoing revitalization of downtown White Plains to attract more millennials and business to the area, including a $275 million redevelopment of the Westchester Pavilion at 60 S. Broadway, directly opposite The Esplanade, that was approved by the Council in February.
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