PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Five of the eight candidates for the upcoming Village Board of Trustees election gathered on Thursday, March 10, to discuss their stances on Starwood Capital's proposed development of the United Hospital site.
“This forum was for voters to find out where the candidates stand on making sure that this project meets the needs of this community in terms of jobs and housing, and that our schools, infrastructure, and safety are protected," said forum moderator Joan Grangenois-Thomas, a Port Chester resident and activist.
"Dialogue is a healthy thing for a community to engage in. It’s not about putting the kibosh on the project, it’s about making sure that it fits who we are, meets our needs, and benefits us into the future."
Gregory Adams (D), Dan Brakewood (D), Alex Chavarria (independent), Frank Ferrara (R) and Louis Marino (D) participated in the forum. Adams, Brakewood, and Marino are incumbents.
Starwood Capital has proposed building a $300 million mixed-use private development with 730 residential units, 90,000 square feet of retail space, 217,000 square feet of office space and a 138 room hotel at the former United Hospital site.
The project is pending approval of Village Trustees to rezone the site to allow for a bigger development than what is currently permitted.
Starwood proposed entering into a payment in lieu of taxes program. The forum addressed concerns that the development's profits would come on the backs of the village.
Four candidates supported the need for a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), which would ensure that the development meets village needs. The CBA is an enforceable, legally binding document between a developer and a community group.
Sustainable Port Chester Alliance hosted the forum at the Knights of Columbus, which was attended by 80 residents.
Six trustee seats are open in the March 15 election.