WPCNR WATCH ON THE HIGHLANDS. Special to WPCNR from a WPCNR Correspondent. May 27, 2017:
An observer of the Highlands Civic Association Meet the Mayor night Wednesday evening sent this observation of Mayor Tom Roach’s remarks:
The Mayor talked about development – new jobs with several new companies (NY Life, Dannon as you know about). I think he said another is coming that he can’t talk about.
While mentioning movies here in WP, he said a big movie with big stars is coming; details coming soon.
On The Boulevard/Grid proposed development (on the former Sholz site at West Post Road and Maple Avenue fork we’ll monitor). He said the owners are looking for tenants.
John – as for Boulevard, I haven’t heard they’re changing the plans and mix of uses. I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if they did change as retail continues its free-fall and developers can’t propose and build apartments fast enough. I wouldn’t mind seeing apartments for the hospital there – keep employees here in WP, reduce commutes, etc.
The Mayor did mention the heavy investments into the Westchester and City Center malls and the coming improvements to the Galleria. Also the benefits of people living downtown; it attracts employers.
Infrastructure – roads need to be maintained, but also many roads are over-designed. Yes, mentioned Station Area Plan. BRT – not so much because I hear it’s substantially reduced in scope.
City also has new construction regs (better vehicle emissions, for example).
Crime is down, incidents up.
Infrastructure keeping pace.
New parks funds will be coming with new projects – more acquisitions needed.
Highlands may organize group and meetings to discuss our two parks – Druss and S. Lex playlot. Mayor said grants are good solution for parks too.
He said the City is looking at the ”Frozen Ropes” parcel (East Post Road) -characterized as becoming blight, talked to owner, may “act” in some way soon.
The Mayor said Uber (cabs) are coming – Westchester County to regulate; city will need to address volume at train station and for any new station area.
He touched on only a few downtown projects – Pavilion, ATT building residential renovation, Old WP Mall.
A mention of FASNY brought groans from the audience (most are sick and tired of the whole process).
A question on affordable housing brought discussion about 10% set-aside and Wynbrook re-do project.
There was an issue of a need for Dog-Park – maybe a bigger one coming; need a site though.
As for the Highlands, questions and answers on many items: new street lights (you can request brighter or weaker lights), street paving (Gedney Way this year, we need several more concrete block streets paved here in Highlands).
Big empty, pink apt. building on S. Lex (near Osborne) is maintained and empty. No word from owner on why.
The City is working to improve look of Salvation Army site along Post Road (though outside of Highlands).
Some of the firefighters came and politely waited until most questions were asked. Some back and forth with the Mayor; many Highlands residents weren’t happy about the interruption. The FF’s were asked to stop asking him (The Mayor) more and more questions. We love our firefighters but that they had a whole WPCNA meeting to present their concerns and we needed our Highlands time with the mayor.
That’s about 90 minutes squished into two paragraphs. I think we had 70 or 80 attending. Several city staff in attendance also.