PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – A $450 million mixed-used project proposed for the former United Hospital site in Port Chester advanced this week with the village’s acceptance of the developer’s final environmental impact statement.
According to Tom Corsillo, spokesman for Starwood Capital Group, a global private investment firm based in Greenwich, the vote to accept the FEIS just means that the document contains all the required information, such as the project’s potential impact on traffic and schools.
The site, which is owned by an affiliate of Starwood, has already been re-zoned for mixed use, so the next step is to get approvals for an amendment that would allow for greater density, Corsillo said Wednesday.
The village’s Board of Trustees will also have to vote after its members have read the FEIS on whether its proposed mitigations of any such impacts are sufficient, Corsillo said.
The last step in the process – before various permits are sought -- would be approval of the site plan.
The village has been taking several “deep dives” into the particulars of the FEIS, Corsillo said, by holding workshops and hearing public comment.
A public hearing on the project, which borders the City of Rye, has been tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 31.
At this past Tuesday’s workshop, several members of an ad hoc group known as Sustainable Port Chester Alliance (SPCA) attended.
SPCA says it is a coalition of faith, housing, education, labor and resident groups advocating for responsible development in the village.
It was formed to make sure, it says, Starwood Capital Group “negotiates a plan for the United Hospital redevelopment that better reflects the needs of our community.”
Its spokeswoman Joan Grangenois-Thomas, explained Wednesday that it is not opposed or against the project, but simply wants to make the community’s voice heard so Starwood, or any other developer, doesn’t "just hit and run, and then leave the village with a big, bunch of issues to deal with."
(In the interest of full disclosure, Grangenois-Thomas is an unpaid community advisor for the Port Chester Daily Voice.)
Corsillo said that the vote on the FEIS moves the project “forward after years of planning and delay.”
More than 1,000 residents have submitted postcards “demanding a vote to approve the proposed rezoning,” he said.
The 15.4-acre site is located near the intersection of I-287 and I-95. It fronts on Boston Post Road, aka Route 1.
The hospital closed in 2005.
As proposed, Corsillo said, the development would generate $60 million in revenue for the village and contribute $2 million a year to the school system.
It would also, the developers said, create nearly 3,000 new jobs.
Starwood plans to invest $4 million in road improvements it says will reduce traffic delays and accidents along the busy Route 1 corridor.
Earlier Daily Voice coverage of the project, including artists' renderings, can be found by clicking here.
If approved, the project will include 90,000 square feet of boutique, street-level retail shops and restaurants, a 135-room hotel and 217,000 square feet of office space.
There will also be 500 residential units designed to attract young professionals as well as 230 age-restricted units for seniors. Onsite parking will have room for 1,345 vehicles and an acre of publicly accessible green space will be set aside.
“Port Chester has a historic opportunity to secure its future, and today represents a major step in that process,” said Starwood’s executive vice president, Ellis Rinaldi, referring to the vote to accept the FEIS.
The development plan is a product, Rinaldi said, “of close collaboration with the village.”
He added that it has received “overwhelming support” from “residents, public officials, civic and community organizations, and business leaders.”
Some of the benefits the community group says it would like to see are: a significant portion of jobs attached to the project going to Port Chester residents, 20 percent of the housing go to working families, that overcrowding in local schools is not made worse and that downtown restaurants and retail businesses be protected from rent hikes or unfair competition.