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Letter: Port Chester Must Gain From Development

Send your letters to the editor to portchester@dailyvoice.com.
Send your letters to the editor to portchester@dailyvoice.com. Photo Credit: Daily Voice

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. — The Port Chester Daily Voice accepts signed and original letters to the editor up to 350 words. To submit your letter, email portchester@dailyvoice.com

To the editor:

As a member of the Sustainable Port Chester Alliance, I was shocked to learn of plans to sell the United Hospital property when I attended Starwood Property Trust’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, April 27, in Greenwich, Conn.

There were rumors of Starwood walking away from Port Chester. The statement at the shareholder’s meeting was the first public announcement.

This came shortly after Starwood proposed another new rezoning plan that would increase the maximum allowed project size for 999 High St. from 536,659 square feet to 939,153 square feet.

The Alliance is fighting for a legally binding Community Benefits Agreement with Starwood that will be a win-win for both the community and the developer.

We condemn Starwood for its plans to sell the United Hospital property.

If Starwood indeed plans to sell the property, the Village should wait to bargain with the firm who will actually be constructing something at the site.

Alternatively, the Village should make sure that a robust Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with enforceable succession language is negotiated with Starwood, so that the buyer of the property knows from the outset that they will have to abide by provisions designed to protect the interests of the people of Port Chester.

Starwood Capital Group, which manages Starwood Property Trust, has owned the former United Hospital in Port Chester since 2006.

After nearly 10 years, the company has yet to win approval from the Village to build something there.

Starwood’s latest proposal for a $300 million mixed-use development has faced delayed project approval, adverse media attention and the threat of more negative headlines.

Sustainable Port Chester Alliance members are fighting for a project at the United Hospital that we can support.

The agreement includes real benefits that include funding for schools, workforce housing, guarantees that construction workers and permanent employees get fair wages and benefits, and more.

CBAs have been successfully executed in projects around the country and there is no reason for Port Chester to allow this massive development without securing real gains for the community.

Joan Grangenois-Thomas

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