NOTES ON “FLIPPING” AND SCOPING “THE COLLECTION” PROPOSAL ON WESTCHESTER AVE FROM DOWNTOWN READER

7/17/15
John,
The DEIS Scoping document for “The Collection” now on the City web site is dated 4/23/15. Various entities and agencies had been requested to submit their comments by 6/22/15. I don’t know if this is now the official document, or if it will be updated.
Anyway:
Is “The Collection” project another one that will be “flipped” (sold after approvals are obtained) like the flip planned for The Pavilion project? There is another twice-flipped project on Amherst Place, between Main and Franklin. The site, for a condominium, extends back to Windsor Terrace, and is called 10 Windsor Terrace. The Cantatore family, I believe, assembled the land, got approvals, then flipped it to Pulte, who flipped it to Rome Partners, 46 Main St., Monsey, NY 10952.
That property may be in receivership. This is a large empty lot with weeds and garbage. I call the City over and over to have it cleaned out periodically. The owner of the property told my husband personally that he could not afford to build there and include the subsidized units required. See link, immediately below, to bankruptcy filing by Rome Partners. (See this link:)
Does the City not do due diligence, to see if builders can sustain the expenses of building?  Thinking back, both condominiums on Stewart Place (#10 and #15) initially, when new, went into bankruptcy.
THE COLLECTION
What about the new proposed huge, over-stuffed “Collection” project on Westchester Avenue, extending back to the already dense Franklin Avenue? Will that obtain approvals, then be flipped for profit? Franklin Avenue, a narrow street, now has parking only on one side. It has a dangerous curve at Amherst Place at the bottom of a hill. That dangerous curve is very near Eastview School.
These are a few of the issues the DEIS Scoping document on the City web site does not address and/or does not explain:
  •  The Collection project would include 14 separate tax lots, only 9 of which are under the control of the Applicant. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? Pie in the sky?
  •  The Project location is noted to be roughly the north side of Westchester Avenue and the south side of Franklin between Paulding and Bloomingdale Road. Roughly? Is this how a project of this size is handled? Roughly?
  •  Where is the open space/plazas/plantings/benches for the planned large (261 units) residential component?
  •  Where is the dog park for the residential component? Will it be situated after the fact? Near neighboring building(s)?
  •  Where exactly will the safe/pleasant pedestrian walkway be for those walking from Westchester Avenue to Franklin Avenue and vice versa? Now, people have to walk on the active Stop&Shop driveway, where there is no sidewalk; and the button on a pole to request a WALK signal has long been removed.
  •  What about the Franklin-Windsor senior housing on Franklin? Will they have unmitigated construction to face for years?
  •  Where will snow storage be?
  •  Will the entire complex look like the Stop&Shop parking garage?
  •  Why is a large parking structure planned for the border of the Eastview School property? This would be the second parking structure bordering the school property.
  •  What about Rush Hour Traffic on Westchester Avenue? The entire “Collection” project will have 1,233 parking spaces.
  •  The DEIS notes that there will be a “fully signalized intersection” at Westchester Avenue opposite Paulding. Signalized for robots? Does that mean Pedestrians will have to have eyes in the back of the head when they cross the street, as they do now at the two Container Store corners?
  •  Where exactly will moving trucks park for the residential component?
  •  Where exactly will garbage trucks park for the complex? Where exactly will garbage staging areas be? How will they be cleaned, and the containers secured?
  •  How will Fire Dept. vehicles access the complex?
  • Do we really need more retail space in White Plains?
Thanks for asking for my input.
Best regards,
Renee Marks Cohen

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