Yonkers up for a revamp

September 15, 2012 by  

The city of Yonkers is on the development fast-track once more as the first phase of a multi-million dollar “daylighting” project last month took the cement “lid” off a two-block section of the Saw Mill River. Two more phases of the project are scheduled to be completed in about three years’ time. By project’s end, the water will meander through a six-block section of downtown Yonkers.

New zoning laws finalized at the end of last year are also helping spur the latest development investments. The updated regulations allow for high-density apartment and office buildings in an area that once was the industrial heart of the city.

Before the 2009 recession, developers transformed a decrepit stretch of Yonkers real estate bordering the Hudson. After the economic downturn, building stalled but, according to Steve Sansone, executive director of the Yonkers Downtown Business Improvement District, the unveiling of the concealed tributary:

“….has already helped to pick up that momentum from before.”

For local businesses, from clothing retailers to printing companies, the infusion of serious money into a decaying area is especially good news. Any initiative that brings new residents and enterprises to a location offers the possibility of a boost to the bottom line.

Nicholas Spraygren, a Manhattan developer who has spent $30 million to purchase properties recently said:

“I saw the success of the library and apartments next to the river and realized this is a place I want to invest in heavily.”

He went on to say that the railroad station’s presence made Yonkers an ideal location for him, with transit at its heart.