YONKERS, N.Y. – Yonkers may soon be taking downtown development to new heights.
City Council members voted, 4-3, Wednesday to amend the downtown waterfront plan to allow a 23-story residential complex on an Alexander Street lot. The narrow approval margin means the amendment must now be sent to Mayor Mike Spano, who has the ability to pass or veto the plan.
The amendment is needed as the proposed 240-foot tower, the idea of Connecticut-based developer Collins Enterprises, exceeds the waterfront plan’s maximum height limits. If approved, the height change would apply only to the lot on which the 222-unit Hudson Park III tower would sit, council members said.
Before Wednesday’s vote, a handful of residents said they supported the idea of development but urged the City Council to carefully weigh the implications of a high-rise along the waterfront.
“Many of us feel that it is crucial to the success of Yonkers that people have contact with the waterfront,” Bob Morrow said.
He added “what we need is better access to the waterfront and to maintain our access and not build a wall that we will ultimately regret.”
Minority Leader John Larkin, who voted in favor of the amendment along with the council’s other two Republicans and Majority Leader Wilson Terrero, praised developers for exceeding sustainability standards and said he had no problem with the height of the building.
Councilmen Michael Sabatino, Christopher Johnson and Council President Chuck Lesnick also expressed their support for various parts of the project. But each said they had concerns, ranging from the number of affordable housing units in the complex to the lack of retail space, they would like to hash out before amending the waterfront plan.
“There are some wonderful things about this project but I cannot vote yes tonight,” Lesnick said. “But that is no way a reflection of a lack of desire to see a good project built. So it is reluctant no vote.”
While Spano is deciding on the changes, the proposed development project will be sent to the Planning Board for further consideration.
If it were to be built, Hudson Park III would join Collins’ previous two waterfront complexes which were completed in 2003 and 2008.
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