Ellis Development Group LLC is asking the City of Newburgh for approval to build a 60-unit apartment complex in 10 buildings on a 12.44-acre site along Ellis Avenue. Designed as a conservation development, the project would confine the construction area to approximately 5.3 acres, preserving approximately 7.14 acres as open space.
The proposal being reviewed by the city’s Planning Board is similar to an earlier proposal that called for 74 apartments in 11 buildings. The Planning Board determined that the project constitutes a Type II action under the State Environmental Quality Review Act, meaning it would not have a significant adverse impact on the environment.
The development parcel is composed of three lots with addresses of 139, 117 and 125 Ellis Ave. There is city-owned property adjacent to one of the lots that includes a passive recreation area that is maintained through a partnership of Scenic Hudson and the Orange County Land Trust.
The developers say the project is designed to concentrate development on the most level portion of the site, and preserve the steepest slopes in their natural state.
The developer points out the Newburgh’s 2011 Future Land Use Plan specifically recommends locations and types of development that reflect the smart growth principles by increasing housing density near employment centers. They note that their project is less than one mile from downtown Newburgh and is in close proximity to local schools, parks, recreation areas and local businesses.
The developer says that each three-story building will contain six two-bedroom apartments and that each apartment will be approximately 1,100 square feet in size. Surface parking will be provided for each building with a total of 100 parking spaces when the project is completed.
The developer expects to built the project in two phases. In the first phase, seven buildings containing a total of 42 units would be built on one lot, and in the second phase, the remaining three buildings with 18 units would be constructed.
The developer says that it would begin construction shortly after the approval process is completed and it would take about 14 months to complete Phase One. It estimates it would be able to complete Phase Two in September 2024.
Access to the site will be via an extension of Ellis Avenue that currently is only 12 feet wide. The extension provides access to the Ellis Avenue water tank adjacent to the project’s property. Ellis Avenue is a city road with sole access from New York State Route 208, also known as Little Britain Road. The developer points out that the access portion of Ellis Avenue is not currently constructed to standards established by the City of Newburgh. “This segment of the street will be upgraded by the developer, if necessary, to meet with the approval requirements of the City of Newburgh engineer,” the developer told the city.
The developer identifies several facilities serving children, the elderly, schools, hospitals, day care centers and group homes within 1,500 feet of the site. The developer proposes to place a permanent Conservation Easement on the area that will not be disturbed by construction. In addition, an internal trail is planned along with internal sidewalks to provide pedestrian connections between all of the buildings. While no on-site active recreation is proposed, the developer says passive recreation will be available to residents via the trail and forested open space that will remain on 50% of the site.