Plans to construct two buildings with a total of 296 apartments close to the North White Plains Metro-North Railroad station were approved Aug. 2 by the White Plains Common Council. In addition to approving the site plans for the project, the council gave its nod to an environmental findings resolution.
The developer is NW Plains Venture LLC, a Delaware limited liability company with an address at the Manhattan office of BRP Cos., which was founded in 1998 and has some two-dozen projects either completed or in the pipeline. It has assembled a 2.44-acre parcel consisting of lots with addresses of 7-11 Holland Ave., 7 Holland Ave., 2, 20, 36-28 and 30-32 Haarlem Ave. and 18 Glen St.
The North White Plains plan calls for two, six-story buildings with five residential floors and two levels of parking that are partially below grade. The architect on the project is Perkins Eastman. Attorney Janet Giris of the White Plains law firm DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise & Wiederkehr LLP was involved in submitting the application. Attorney Mark Weingarten of the firm gave a presentation before the council voted.
Building A, with an address of 20 Haarlem Ave., would have 163 units with approximately 1,000 square feet of neighborhood retail space and 216 parking spaces. There would be 133 apartments and 164 parking spaces in Building B, which would have an address of 27 Holland Ave.
There would be a total of 59 studio apartments, 148 one-bedroom units and 89 two-bedroom units. Amenities would include a fitness room, bike racks, landscaped outdoor courtyards and a resident lounge. The developer would create an at-grade publicly accessible park of just over 15,000 square feet that would offer passive recreation space as well as dog runs.
The project is in the Light Industrial Mixed Use 2 District (LI-M2), which the common council approved for the area near the North White Plains train station in 2018.
According to a memo from Christopher Gomez, the city’s planning commissioner, the developer would pay a fee of $3,028,125 as a buyout for 19 of the 24 affordable units it would be obligated to provide under the city’s affordable housing requirements. It would provide three affordable units in Building A and two affordable units in Building B. The memo reports that it’s estimated the buildings would have 527 residents.
At the Aug. 2 council meeting, Mayor Tom Roach explained that the buyout fee would be dedicated to a special fund earmarked for expanding affordable housing in the city. He explained that the money from the developer actually could help produce more affordable units than the 24 the developer would have been obligated to provide.
Gomez said that the planning department recommends approval of the site plan subject to conditions such as requiring a sign showing hours that the park is open to the public, the maintenance of landscaping to ensure healthy growing conditions and completion of a construction management plan.
Westchester County’s Planning Board found that the project is consistent with its long-range policies because “it would add new, higher density development next to a train station and within walking distance of a number of commercial and educational uses,” according to a letter to White Plains from County Planning Commissioner Norma Drummond.
“We are supportive of the inclusion of a retail storefont within the development since the store could be utilized by residents, commuters or users of the Bronx River Pathway. We are also appreciative of the applicant providing a publically accessible open space as part of this development, which is also consistent with the County Planning Board’s policies,” Drummond said.
The application for the project had been filed with White Plains on Nov. 23, 2020. In August 2020, the Business Journal reported that plans for the project were being formulated.
Rashid Walker, BRP Cos.’ managing director of acquisitions, had said at the time, “In terms of the White Plains project, I think its proximity to the Metro-North train station was the primary factor in our interest as a company in doing that deal. The ability to get to Manhattan in 35 minutes on Metro-North was the primary driver in our decision to pursue this deal.”
Geoff Flournoy, a co-founder of BRP Cos., said, “I’m a longtime resident of Westchester and pre-Covid I parked everyday at the North White Plains train station and commuted into New York City. I fully appreciate the convenience that will also be afforded to our future residents with that location.”
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.