Home Economic Development Yonkers power plant developer buys historic Alder Manor

Yonkers power plant developer buys historic Alder Manor

Alder Manor in Yonkers.
Alder Manor in Yonkers.

The developer of the long-abandoned Glenwood power plant, an  industrial icon on the Yonkers waterfront, has purchased a nearby landmark estate as part of her plans to create a “constellation” of restored historic properties as social and cultural destinations with art exhibits and installations, restaurants, and meetings and event space.

Lela Goren, founder and president of  The Goren Group L.L.C. in Manhattan, closed in late May on her company’s $5.5 million purchase of Alder Manor, a 72-room, 35,000-square-foot Italian Renaissance Revival mansion at 1097 N. Broadway listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 5.7-acre property also includes a 51,000-square-foot former school building, Bosch Hall, built in 1962, when the former family estate was the campus of Elizabeth Seton College.

Goren’s company, Plant Manor L.L.C., purchased the property from The Tara Circle Inc., a nonprofit Irish cultural organization that has vacated the historic hall and is looking to relocate in Yonkers. The nonprofit paid $1.2 million for the property in a 2004 deal with the city of Yonkers. The city acquired the property in the mid-1990s after Iona College, which took over Elizabeth Seton College in a merger, closed its Yonkers campus.

Known for its classically landscaped gardens, ornamental sculptures and architectural details, Alder Manor was built in 1912 by William Boyce Thompson, a mining magnate and financier who sited his country home across North Broadway from his plant research center, the Boyce Thompson Institute. Goren said she plans to restore the limestone mansion according to State Historic Preservation Office standards and expects to qualify for a 20 percent federal tax credit for historic preservation.

Bosch Hall will be partly demolished, she said, leaving a level built into the hillside overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades as a restaurant or event space.

The renamed Plant Manor could be used for film and photo shoots, Goren said. “It’s so special,” she said.

Tara Circle occasionally rented the mansion for weddings and banquets and for film shoots, according to a Wikipedia entry on Alder Manor. It reportedly was the location for scenes in the movies “A Beautiful Mind,” “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Mona Lisa Smile.”

The Goren Group and its redevelopment partner in Yonkers, Ron Shemesh, paid $3.1 million in late 2012 for the long-idle Glenwood power plant at 45 Water Grant St. on the northern Yonkers riverfront. Shemesh, though, early this year closed his Excelsior Packaging Inc. plant at 159 Alexander St., where 112 workers were employed. City officials said the business could not recover from damage to the plant and lost business from Hurricane Sandy.

Goren has since bought out Shemesh’s interest in The PowerHouse, the mixed-use redevelopment planned at the century-old power station complex.

Shemesh in January also sold another potential waterfront redevelopment site at 35 Water Grant St. for $3 million. His company in 2012 paid $2.25 million to acquire the vacant industrial property from Sun Chemical Corp.

Goren said building stabilization work and a brownfield cleanup are underway at the power plant as part of a $70 million to $80 million rehabilitation project that will transform graffiti-filled industrial buildings into events and conference center space and an arts exhibit hall. The work is expected to be completed in 2 1/2 years, she said.

Goren said a $60 million second phase of development will include a boutique hotel, spa, restaurants and a marina.

The Alder Manor sale was brokered by Steve McCulloch and Rich Hendey of Houlihan-Parnes Realtors L.L.C. in Harrison.



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