Hi Mr Bailey,
I am a life long White Plains resident; I grew up in Gedney Farms, and currently live in the Soundview neighborhood.I see your site no longer posts letters, but I am compelled to write anyway, to offer you food for thought (for what its worth).
Two thoughts: The mere threat of FASNY has already had a very negative and significant impact on real estate values in Gedney Farms specifically, and WP generally. Proof: go to Zillow, and peruse recent sales data for the last 2-3 years.
Then go to any Real Estate site and peruse the market for WP homes in the 650-950K range. You will see that prices for WP homes in general, and for Gedney specifically, have plummeted–especially remarkable given that mortgage rates remain at historic lows.
Yes, the financial crisis knocked prices down perhaps 20-25%, but current prices show a considerably larger decline than is accounted for by the financial crisis when measured from the 2007 market peak. FASNY and the city’s real estate taxes are among the main reasons why this is true.
FASNY is most certainly a major (though not the only) reason for these depressed values.
I think that the majority of White Plains residents don’t really care about FASNY, as they see the issue as a “Gedney” issue.
It’s not. All real estate values across the city are related; if the values in the crown jewel neighborhood are suffering, it has a negative impact on all real estate values, as evidenced by the small number of homes for sale in the 800K+ category across WP, and especially in Gedney. A check of the price data for sales and current listings is quite sobering.
My second thought concerns the second major reason WP real estate values remain depressed: our real estate taxes. My real estate taxes have doubled over the last decade, and city services have declined.
And yet, the country has been in a zero interest rate, <2% inflation rate for nearly the last 10 years. An $800K house in WP now has taxes of 17k-20K. This too is a major drag on real estate values.
I find it incredibly irritating to think back over the decades to the representations the Common Council and Mayor made regarding the development of downtown WP–how such development would be a boon to our tax base, how it would assure a “vibrant” downtown, and of course, it would be great for the city. All of it hogwash.
There is nothing downtown except over-priced chain restaurants and bars for 20-30 somethings. And of course, lots of malls, many with lots of vacant space. Basically nothing of the vision we were sold on materialized.
I think it fair to say we citizens were poorly represented by past administrations, who either knowingly lied, or were simply incompetent to lead us to a better future. I have to wonder if history will repeat itself with this administration when it comes to FASNY.
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