$1B TOD Drives Forward at Former GM Plant in NY

SunCal and Diversified Realty Advisors will develop a nearly 70-acre riverfront parcel in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.

By Gail Kalinoski

Edge on Hudson rendering
Edge on Hudson rendering

New York—Two decades after General Motors closed its assembly plant in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., the nearly 70-acre riverfront parcel will soon become the site of a mixed-use development valued at over $1 billion.

The transit-oriented property is being developed in a joint venture by SunCal and Diversified Realty Advisors and will include 1,177 units of housing, restaurants, retail, offices and a hotel. In an effort to bring more people to the waterfront, the site will also have 16 acres of open space and a promenade along the water linking the existing Westchester County RiverWalk to the south and county-owned Kingsland Point to the north.

Jonathan Stein, managing partner of Diversified Realty Advisors, said during a recent groundbreaking ceremony that the vision is to create “a world-class development on the banks of the Hudson River.” Stein described visiting the site back in 1998 as operating officer for Roseland Property, one of several companies GM had reached out to about redeveloping the former auto plant property. Roseland became the designated developer but eventually dropped out due to litigation surrounding the project and Stein left to form Diversified Realty Advisors. In 2014, Sleepy Hollow village officials named Diversified Realty Advisors and SunCal as the developers.

“At long last we’re laying the foundation for unprecedented waterfront access and for economic development that will propel Sleepy Hollow forward for many years to come, while at the same time, positively impacting the broader Hudson Valley region,” Sleepy Hollow Mayor Ken Wray said in a prepared statement.

The village, then known as North Tarrytown, was devastated when GM closed the assembly plant in 1996. The joint venture developing Edge-on-Hudson has committed to contributing more than $11 million to the village during the 8- to 10-year construction timeline. It will also be making property tax and other payments for water and traffic infrastructure improvements. The Village of Sleepy Hollow Local Development Corp. was given 28 acres east of the Metro-North Hudson Line tracks. The village is expected to use the site for a new public works center and recreation fields, according to The Journal News.

The developers are replacing the aging Beekman Avenue Bridge with a stronger temporary span to handle the heavy construction equipment that will be crossing over to the site. This year much of the work will be site preparation, including demolishing the concrete and asphalt slab still on the property from the GM plant. Fill material will be brought to the site and water, sewer and electric lines will be installed. Construction of the first homes will begin in 2017 and be completed by 2018.

Phase One will feature 306 units of housing, including 40 senior affordable units and 21 affordable workforce units. The housing will include 188 loft-style apartments in the four-story Loft District; 45 three-and four-story condominium homes and 72 townhomes in the Central Park District. The first phase will also incorporate neighborhood green space, a central park and village green. Architectural and landscape design is led by Hart Howerton. The project is expected to be certified to LEED Neighborhood Development standards.

In addition to the final tally of 1,177 units of housing, the final project will have a 140-key boutique hotel, 135,000 square feet of retail space and 30,000 square feet of office space.

The site is a transit-oriented development located within walking distances of two Metro-North Hudson Line train stations with direct access to Grand Central Terminal.