YONKERS, N.Y. – The developers of the Glenwood Power Plant in Yonkers are making good on a promise to listen to residents' concerns.
After plans to build an underground parking garage in Yonkers’ Trevor Park drew plenty of concern, the consortium behind the power plant’s transformation into a hotel and convention center went back to the drawing board.
The original plan, first presented in November, was to bury an 870-space parking garage in a hilltop inside Trevor Park. An even bigger park would be built on top of the garage. The hill would be leveled, and AstroTurf ball fields would be put on top of the parking area.
Dozens of neighbors have spoken out against the plan, saying they do not want the park and its sloped hill disrupted to make room for parking.
Developers said Wednesday they were paying attention.
“We have to come up with the best place for this parking lot,” Linda Shaw, lawyer for developer Glenwood POH, told the crowd during a meeting of the city’s Planning Board. “So we listened to the community and have come up with two concept plans.”
The first is a tweaked version of the original and still includes an underground two-story parking structure on the northern end of the park. But much more of the hill in Trevor Park would be preserved, Shaw said.
In addition, the plan to add AstroTruf would be ditched and the area would be re-landscaped with grass.
The second proposal would build a three-story above-ground L-shaped parking structure along Ravine Avenue on the south end of the park. The hill would be spared and new tennis courts would be added along with a playground, Shaw said.
Both plans have been submitted to the Planning Board to be included in an Environmental Review, a process that kicked off during Wednesday night’s scoping session.
Despite the changes, many residents said they still had concerns.
“I am greatly concerned about the loss of parkland right across the street from me,” Julie Weiner said. “In the summer there is rarely an evening when it’s not dotted with people barbecuing because this is all of our backyard.”
Worries weren’t limited to just the green space. Others said they were anxious to find out what impact neighbors would feel when the power plant was transformed into a destination hub with hotels, an exhibition hall, convention center and spa.
They pointed to traffic congestion, air quality and a potential strain on police and fire departments.
“The desire for economic development cannot and should not overshadow the commitment we have to the people who live in this neighborhood,” Warburton Avenue resident Thomas Kitchen said.
These questions will likely be answered in the Environmental Review Study but Shaw warned it would likely be lengthy process, lasting up to six months.
In the meantime, she said, Glenwood POH will continue to seek community input in the planning process.