By Rick Pezzullo
A nine-story, 297 rental apartment project on the site of the former White Plains Linen building in Peekskill failed to pass Common Council members at a recent business meeting.
Developer Daniel Martin outlined his vision March 21 for ‘The Constant Lofts,’ a $100 million investment that would include 249 one-bedroom units and 48 two-bedroom units, ranging in size from 480 to 1,060 feet. squares.
The development between Division St. and Highland Ave. would also have 446 parking spaces, 45,000 square feet of green space, and a three-story 12,000 square foot building out front that could be used as an art gallery and community functions. .
“The quality of work will be of a very high standard,” said Martin. “There will be no cut corners. Right now it’s not a fun street to walk.
To provide more flexibility, Martin also purchased the fire station building at 427 Highland Ave.
However, council members were mostly in agreement on the size of the development in the mixed residential and commercial area.
“It’s gigantic. It just doesn’t fit this neighborhood,” remarked Councilwoman Patricia Riley. “Nine stories seems excessive. It looks like something in New York.
“I think it’s too big,” said councilor Kathie Talbot, who lives in the area. “The roads are narrow there. There will be a lot of congestion in this area.
Mayor Vivian McKenzie and Councilman Rob Scott said it would be more beneficial to have a development where city residents could have the option of buying a unit.
“We need housing for the people who live here,” McKenzie said.
“My thing is fairness,” Scott said. “A rental space for which I am not really. It does nothing for the people. I’m not afraid of the nine stories.
Martin said his business is not in the co-op or condominium sector and believes his project is consistent with what Peekskill officials have said they are looking for.
“We are only married to our wives, but these buildings are in a terrible state,” Martin said. “We know that the nine stories work for us. I don’t know if five stories work for us. I’m not going to give up so easily. In the end, it’s a math question for me. If I can’t make the math work there, I can’t build the building.