Overcrowded schools, lowered property values and some of the other concerns surrounding Spinnaker’s 110-unit, mixed-use apartment building proposal were addressed Wednesday during the Pelville Association’s monthly meeting on at the Richard J. Daronco Town House.
Adam Kagan, a member of the Pelham village board, fielded questions from the crowd about the memorandum of understanding the with Spinnaker Real Estate Partners and Clarion Partners for a mixed-use building that would be constructed on an an L-shaped stretch of village owned property located between Fourth and Fifth avenues and Third Street and Lincoln Avenue.
The two parking decks that currently exist in the area now would be torn down. An underground parking garage would be built for the building's residents and an at-grade garage with 100 parking spaces would be built for the public.
The memorandum of understanding means that the village and the developers have a mutual interest in further investigating the project. Village Mayor Edward Hotchkiss has said the project could take as long as 18 months before it meets all of the state environmental and local zoning and planning requirements needed for approval.
“I can’t stress strongly enough our position in regard to the effect that development may have, potentially, on the school district,” said Thomas Ricci, president of the Pelville Association. “Take a look at the Hutchinson school...Hutchinson school is at point where they can’t absorb two or three more children. The space constraints doesn’t allow for them to absorb these children. That’s the key issue here and I think that’s the issue members of the board must understand.”
The developers have described the proposed apartments as ‘amenitized lifestyle communities’ marketed to first choice renters with high, disposable incomes. Developers said rents would be in the $2,500 to $3,000 range, with prices dependent on the size of the unit. The projected incomes of renters would be somewhere in the $80,000 to $120,000 range, according to developers.
The two parking decks that currently exist in the area would be torn down. An underground parking garage would be built for the building's residents and an at-grade garage withh 100 parking spaces would be built for the public. A small commercial space would also be included in the building.
Kagan said memorandum of understanding doesn’t guarantee that the village board or developers will move forward with the project. Kagan said he was skeptical of the developer plan, but he voted to approve the memorandum so that he could get a better understanding of the proposal.
“I wanted to base the decision on facts, not things that I have heard or things that someone else had heard,” Kagan said. “I wanted to know what the real facts are, so they’re going to go out and do their research, I’m doing my research, my colleagues on the board, I expect, are doing their own research.”
Kagan said he’s called school district in other communities where Spinnaker has constructed buildings for background information. So far, Spinnaker has shown that they have good reputation of maintaining and managing their properties.
“They don’t flip (their properties),” Kagan said. “My big concern was that they buy it, develop it and the flip to someone else who might not have the same investment in the community that we want them to have or would permit, perhaps, lower rents that would increase the number of students and make it more attractive to people who have kids to try and shoehorn to try and find a cheaper way to get into a good school district.”
A list of Spinnaker development projects can be found here.
Clifford Raggo lives on Fourth Avenue. He worries the impact the building would have on the value of his house if it is built.
“With a building my (window) view would be a wall,” Raggo said. “I would be able to see nothing. My home value would depreciate along with everybody else’s in that block. Not only would it depreciate, but my window now would be a television screen for everyone who is in that building because if I leave my light on at night and I walk around my house, you could look right into it.”
Other residents also expressed concerns about the lack of parking that could develop if 100-plus residents are brought into the village.
Kagan said the quality of life concerns will be addressed during the review process.
Ricci said there are plans to bring in the project’s developers during October’s Pelville Association meeting.