May 18, 2016
Construction starts at former GM site in Sleepy Hollow
Mixed-use development planned for property
The Journal News
SLEEPY HOLLOW – The vast parcel of land on the Hudson River that formerly housed the General Motors assembly plant has been off-limits to general public for more than a century.
But that will change in a couple of years, after developers on Wednesday formally launched construction of the $1 billion mixed-use development, to be known as Edge-on-Hudson, planned for a 67-acre portion of the 96-acre property.
“It’s a new beginning,” said Hugh Jones, a longtime village resident and a member of the Planning Board, who attended the groundbreaking ceremony. “What’s next will fill a major void in the future of the village.”
The joint venture of SunCal and Diversified Realty Advisors aims to build a new waterfront community of 1,177 residential units, plus restaurants, retail space, and a hotel.
Nearly 20 years have passed since General Motors ceased operations of the plant in June 1996. Over the years, plans to redevelop the site have gone through numerous ups and downs, including opposition from the communities, concerns from environmentalists, the withdrawal of the original developer Roseland Property, multiple lawsuits, GM’s bankruptcy and an economic recession.
Jonathan Stein, managing partner of Diversified Realty Advisors, recapped some of those moments for the ceremony attendees. As the former operating officer for Roseland Property, he can talk about the history firsthand going back to 1998.
Stein said the development is finally happening because of what the site offers, including stunning views and nearby access to Metro-North train stations.
“This is one of those sites that perseveres. It’s got the energy. It’s got the excitement,” Stein said. “This site has every dynamic element that every developer wishes for.”
Along the river, there will be a publicly-accessible waterfront park where people can take a walk and enjoy the view, said Sleepy Hollow village Mayor Ken Wray, adding that it’s been more than 125 years since residents had access to the riverfront.
“This is a defining moment for the village,” Wray said. “We’re going to make sure this thing is going to get done because it’s in all of our best interest to see this thing finally happen.”
As the first step in construction, contractors are building a temporary bridge which will be needed to transport heavy construction equipment over the railroad tracks to the property. In about three weeks, grading of the site will begin. The first phase of construction features 306 units of housing including 61 affordable units, which are slated to be ready for occupancy in 2018, according to the developers.
Under a 2014 agreement with the developers, Sleepy Hollow got control of the eastern portion of the GM site. The village plans to build a new public works center and recreational fields on the 29-acre plot.