WPCNR SOUTHEND TIMES. By John F. Bailey. July 2, 2022 UPDATED 00:45 EDT:
WPCNR has learned John Farrell of Farrell Building Company, in Suffolk County, builder of luxury million dollar plus homes nationwide, and his design team have presented initial plans to the Board of Directors of the Gedney Association announcing what Mr. Farrell wants to build there:
100 homes on 95 acres of the 130-acre property, while preserving 35 acres of the lake and surrounding lowland off Hathaway Lane.
Mr. Farrell purchased the property from the French American School of New York for $16.5 Million in the fall, at the time of purchase he said he planned to build homes according to the existing White Plains zoning residential on 1:30 lots which is 1 home to 30,000 square foot lots about ¾ of one acre).
The present Ridgeway Country Club Clubhouse that has been unused except for an occasional meeting the last 11 years of litigation involving the city and the Gedney Association, will be razed and a downsized clubhouse would be built with tennis courts and pool for purchasers of the homes.
The announcement to members of the Gedney Association membership was reported in the Gedney Association Newsletter, this week. The newsletter said that Mr. Farrell and his “Development Team” were “very responsive to our questions and concerns.”
Mr. Farrell said he planned to present the plan to the City of White Plains for review soon.
No other details were disclosed in the Newsletter. It is unclear if just plans were presented, or if renderings of the styles of homes the Farrell Building Company envisions were presented.
For background, the property has extensive environmental issues involving flooding and will require an environmental review and approval by the state. Previously the most homes thought to be able to be built on the property was 40 homes. Large new homes could command well over $2 Million apiece in that location. At this time, it is not clear how the properties would be built, each custom, or what. Or whether it would be a mix of condo and single family but that would require a zoning change.
Access issues will be a concern from first look. To avoid the traffic using only Ridgeway Avenue as entrance and exit would obviously create traffic issues, if access was not provide from Bryant Avenue and perhaps North Street. If each homeowner owned two cars that would bring 200 vehicles into the development with quite a few deliveries given today’s Amazon delivery habit.
Sanitation issues: A complex sewage system would be needed to serve 100 homes that will be a significant issue.
Fuel issues: Would homes use gas lines? Oil heat? Solar electricity? Wind on site? Interesting thoughts. Interesting options could be offered by Mr. Farrell to make the homes prestigious, expensive homes far more appealing than the older housing stock in White Plains and the rest of Westchester County. Given today’s environmental pressures on fuel and power, how would the homes be powered?
Rising Tide of Prestige: These homes could be highly attractive while raising the property values of the surrounding Gedney neighborhood. A visit to the Farrell Building Company website will show you the state-of-the-art luxury homes this company builds all over the country.
Westchester’s most exciting development in decades: It will be, if approved, the largest, most costly but appealing home development in White Plains since the Toll Brothers property in the Havilands Manor neighborhood where I live, and such a development I do not believe has been built since the luxury homes in Greenwich near Westchester Airport.
Property Taxes: The Farrell project will give White Plains a massive infusion of property tax money. If the Farrell homes sell for say $3 Million apiece and people buy them, let’s just ballpark what a $3 million new house custom will bring in property taxes compared to the property tax on a $650,000 home in White Plains , a home which will generate $20,000 in property taxes to White Plains, White Plains Schools and Westchester County, the property tax on a $3 Million home would be roughly 3 times more, $56,000 more a year in taxes.
Now Mr. Farrell does not have to charge $3 Million for homes, he could charge $1 million if the numbers worked out and still make $100 million on the sale of 100 homes. I don’t think that a $1,000,000 covers the cost of construction per home. However $3,000,000 dollar homes would gross $300 Million an provide a much better margin. If he scaled homes say $2 Million, $4 Million and $6 Million $8 million and $10 million with options more (Farrell has built $6 Million dollar homes.), and built different numbers of homes for each price level higher grosses and more interesting homes might be built. He could add mortgages. The size of the development offers terrific leverage.
This development will put White Plains in the black for years to come. It will bring retailers clamoring for the downtown. The houses will sell for more when they come on the market. And rapidly build their resale value. It could start a whole new Westchester market.
Million dollar plus homes are what Farrell Building Company builds. They build them well.
See what I mean by visiting the Farrell website at https://farrellbuilding.com/