Former Frank's Nursery property in Greenburgh
GREENBURGH - After several years of false starts, the Town Board next week is expected to vote on the sale of the former Frank's Nursery property to a developer who plans to build an assisted living facility there.
"I'm glad that it's finally happening," Supervisor Paul Feiner said. "I think it's something the community will support. It's a great location and this will finally put it back on the tax rolls."
The town would sell the 7-acre property at 715 Dobbs Ferry Road to Valterra, LLC, for $3.5 million. The Town Board is expected to approve the sale at it's Dec. 16 meeting.
"We're very excited, and keen to get started," said Drew Reid, a partner in Valterra, who said the company is working with Capital Seniors Housing to develop an 80- to 100-unit assisted living facility for senior citizens at the property.
Greenburgh has struggled with the site since 2011, when it was obtained in foreclosure proceedings.
In 2012, a townwide referendum found widespread support for a proposal from Game On 365 to lease the property for 15 years and build a sports recreation complex. That fell through because Westchester County law requires foreclosed land to be sold so taxpayers can recoup the unpaid tax revenue from foreclosed properties.
Then came a contract to sell the land to Game On for $1.7 million; that agreement was scrapped last year after residents accused the town of giving the company a sweetheart deal. Last year, neighborhood activists discovered that the town did not have clear title to the land, because of a lien. That was cleared up a short time later.
Complicating matters was the discovery that toxins have seeped into the groundwater, which means the site will have to be cleaned up before any work can begin.
The pending deal calls for Valterra to take responsibility for the cleanup, with the town footing the bill. Once the contract is signed, the company will work with the town and the state Department of Environmental Conservation to determine what needs to be done; the town will put money into an escrow account to pay for it.
"We're already working with an environmental consultant," Reid said. "We want to make sure everything is done in compliance with DEC regulations."
Dorrine Livson, president of the Worthington-Woodlands Civic Association, said residents "are glad that this will finally get rid of the blight that's there now. It's been a mess. We're pleased because this is something that will fit into the community very well."
She said neighbors want to see the property back on the tax rolls, noting that an assisted living facility would benefit the school district without putting more students in the schools.
Feiner estimated that once built, the assisted living center will generate $500,000 to $600,000 in taxes, based on the revenues created by similar facilities in town.
He said construction is expected to begin in about a year, once the sale goes through, the cleanup is completed and a site plan application is approved.
"I don't think approval for the assisted living facility will be a problem," Feiner said. "It's what the community wants, so I don't expect there will be any opposition."