The Westchester Industrial Development Agency granted preliminary approval June 11 for $3.1 million in tax relief for new apartments that will replace the YMCA building in White Plains.
Southern Land Co. of Nashville, has proposed demolishing the YMCA at 250 Mamaroneck Ave. and building a $100 million-plus, eight-story structure with 177 apartments, 1,876-square-feet of retail space and a parking garage.
Southern would receive nearly $2.5 million in sales tax relief during construction and $644,071 in mortgage tax relief. The developer has also negotiated a property tax abatement deal with the city of White Plains.
The project would create about 128 construction jobs and 48 permanent jobs.
The apartments would be leased at market rates. Rather than including subsidized housing as part of the mix, Southern has elected to pay about $3.1 million to White Plain’s affordable housing fund.
Given the critical shortage of affordable housing in Westchester, IDA Chairwoman Joan McDonald said before taking the vote, county officials are considering whether IDA benefits should be granted to developers who do not include affordable housing in their projects. But the Southern project came to the agency before discussions could be held, she said, and it is important now to “move the project.”
The board voted 6-0 for the proposal, with one recusal.
The YMCA building includes 150 single room occupancy units. Fixing the building to continue operating SRO housing would have cost about $26 million, YMCA President Cynthia Delfino told the IDA in a March 1 letter.
Southern worked with the nonprofit Housing Action Council to relocate the tenants, according to a memo by IDA consultant Michael Grella, and assisted with first month rents and moving expenses.
The YMCA also operates an early learning center for 145 children. That program will be housed at St. John the Evangelist School, 148 Martine Ave., where the YMCA can serve more children and families.
The YMCA has experienced significant financial hardship in recent years, Delfino states in the letter. The structure, built in 1927, has been deteriorating rapidly. Maintenance costs have a substantial component of the organization’s finances.
Southern, she said, “understood our need to sustain our mission in the face of declining revenue.”
The IDA will hold a public hearing before taking a final vote on the proposed tax subsidies.