Real Estate: Scarsdale Forum Provide Objectives for Future Proposals for Freightway Development

freightwayrenderingNow that the Village Board has said plans for development at the Freightway site are on hold, two committees of the Scarsdale Forum have issued a report outlining goals and recommendations for any future proposals.

See below for their report:

(From the Scarsdale Forum) As part of the recently concluded public comment period, the Scarsdale Forum Fiscal Affairs Scarsdale and Downtown Revitalization Committees have issued a joint report on the Freightway site redevelopment proposals. The committees recommend that any project meet the Scarsdale community's collective priorities and objectives, while avoiding unnecessary risks and burdens to the school district and existing residential property owners.

Noting that the village government recently halted the redevelopment process, and that the Freightway garage currently meets commuter parking needs while generating income exceeding operating expenses/projected renovation costs, the committees recommend that the village repair and maintain the existing structure.

If the board of trustees provides an additional redevelopment proposal(s) to the community, the committees request that it share the net fiscal benefit it expects from entering into private-public partnership with a developer. Specifically, the public should receive answers to the following:

-Is there a target amount of tax relief associated with a Freightway redevelopment project?
-How does it compare with tax relief provided by the existing garage?
-Will property taxes by reduced? If so, when and by how much?
-What are the risks associated with transit-oriented development fiscal benefits?
-What new revenues are projected?
-What would the assessed value of the apartment buildings be?
-Which partner would receive parking revenues and what are the projected amounts?

Anne Hintermeister, chair of the Fiscal Affairs Scarsdale Committee, said, "Any new development will be expected to endure for many decades, into the next century. Once Scarsdale is committed to a particular outcome, the opportunity to modify it without significant future costs will be limited. The village board should share critical data necessary for an informed decision that will prioritize feasible and realistic outcomes for Freightway."

According to Susan Douglass, chair of the Downtown Revitalization Committee, "We recommend focusing on how to best achieve the community's objectives for the village center as a whole. The future of Freightway must be considered in conjunction with other developments and efforts to revitalize the area. It would be a mistake for the board of trustees to address development proposals in a piecemeal fashion -- a comprehensive approach could lead to even greater benefits and meet the goal of creating greater vibrancy."

The full report is available here.

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