CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- On the same night that the New Castle Town Board voted to approve retail zoning for Chappaqua Crossing, it was announced that Summit/Greenfield, the site's owner, was offering several new mitigation measures.
Supervisor Rob Greenstein enumerated the concessions in remarks that preceded the board's vote on the zoning and other legislative items, which each passed by votes of 4-1. Summit/Greenfield recapped the measures in a press release, which was released Friday, Dec. 19, and offered further details.
The new measures include the following, based on a combination of remarks from both parties:
- Summit/Greenfield will pay the town $1.5 million, which will be used for recreational purposes such as trails, along with improving New Castle's two existing business hamlets.
- The developer will spend up to $600,000 on improving the entrance to Horace Greeley High School, which is across the street from Chappaqua Crossing.
- Summit/Greenfield will hand over four smaller adjacent lots, which have frontage on Roaring Brook Road, to the town. Three of the lots have houses that will be demolished, according to Summit/Greenfield, while the fourth is currently vacant. The lots will be used as a green-space buffer, it was announced. Summit/Greenfield notes that the properties have a combined value of more than $3 million.
- Donating the Wallace Auditorium to the town or "its designee" for public usage. Summit/Greenfield states that the auditorium has an estimated value of $2 million and was built in 1990.
- Cutting the amount of existing usable office space by 162,000 square feet, which will result in 500,000 left. Summit/Greenfield says this will lead to a capitalized-income loss of around $6 million.
- The developer will pay a $100,000 recreation fee to New Castle, up to $100,000 for existing consultants' and attorneys' fees and the same amount for future consultants' and attorneys' fees.
- Providing free jitney service from Chappaqua Crossing to downtown Chappaqua for at least two years after completion of construction. Summit/Greenfield projects it will cost about $100,000 per year.
- A sewer-line extension to Roaring Brook Road, which would allow for neighbors to connect
In its press release, Summit/Greenfield also notes that the approval was just four days before the 10-year anniversary of when it purchased the campus from Reader's Digest. Summit/Greenfield is a joint venture of Summit Development and Greenfield Partners.
Summit/Greenfield has sought retail zoning on the property. It would allow for construction of 120,000 square feet of retail space that would be anchored by a 40,000-square-foot Whole Foods grocery store.
Felix Charney, Summit Development's president, is pleased with the news.
“It’s been a long, costly and often painful process, and there’s more to be done, but this vote will allow us to move forward together to submit the site plans and accelerate the leasing," Charney said in a statement. "We appreciate the efforts of Supervisor Rob Greenstein the Town Board and the prior town boards to finally bring the environmental and zoning review to a conclusion, and we look forward to continuing to work with the town to create what we are confident will be a genuine asset to the town and its residents.”
Deputy Supervisor Lisa Katz, the only board member who voted against the retail zoning, voiced skepticism of the proposed mitigation measures in a statement prior to voting.
“The proposed mitigations from Summit/Greenfield that you heard about tonight are not enough," she said. "The proposed retail project is just too big.”
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