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Ossining Village Mulling Harbor Square Revisions

OSSINING, N.Y. – Changes could be coming to the One Harbor Square development project.

Developers Louis Cappelli and Martin Ginsberg presented a revised site plan to the Village of Ossining Board of Trustees Tuesday during a work session. Village officials said the revised plan includes an addition by subtraction plan to increase the number of condominium units from 150 to 180 units. Village Planner Valerie Monastra said each unit has less square footage from the previously approved plan to allow for more total units. The revisions also move the pool area from the open space area to the roof of the project.

Construction on the One Harbor Square planned riverfront condominiums began in 2008 with workers putting in some piles to prepare the construction site, Monastra said previously. But construction stalled for more than three years due to unforeseen economic setbacks.

Mayor Bill Hanauer said he’s aware of the controversial aspect of the project, but he’s encouraged that the project is making progress.

“I’m actually very excited that Harbor Square is moving forward at this point,” Hanauer said Friday. “It’s been a long time but the economy is changing and turning for the better.”

Hanauer added that the process to approve all of the project’s amendments would most likely take more time.

“In terms of the new alterations to the site plan there are a number of things that I think need to be clarified but it’s a little early in the process,” he said, adding that the revisions need to move in front of the planning board before coming back to the board of trustees. “I certainly hope all of that will happen in a fairly rapid order.”

Village Manager Richard Leins said his initial thoughts on the revisions are also positive.

“I think at this point everybody wants to move forward,” Leins said. “I really think the apartments are a function of today’s economy. … I think right now we need to make the most of what we have.”

Community members, however, are still divided on the project.

Ossining resident Ray Prisament, who serves as chair of the village’s Waterfront Vision Committee, told the board of trustees Feb. 14 he and members of the committee continue to be opposed to the project.

“Bottom line, as a committee looking at the waterfront, the Harbor Square footprint would be better served as an eating or commercial destination and not by high rise residential buildings,” Prisament said Tuesday.

Ossining resident Rick Gendron, who said he’s lived a mile from the site for all of his 65 years, called the entire project “a debacle for the community.”

“It’s just a tangle of political mumbo-jumbo for a long, long time,” Gendron said Friday. “Like most of my neighbors, I didn’t think it was a great idea. I don’t think my opinion really matters to the developers but I think there’s a lot more that could and should be done with this area than to develop commercial and residential space here.” 

Village Planner Monastra said the board of trustees is scheduled Tuesday to consider passing resolutions to put the site plan amendments in front of the planning board for a possible recommendation. The site plan would then move in front of the planning board during its next regular meeting Feb. 28, Monastra said.

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