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River's Edge Before the Planning Board: Possible Groundbreaking by Spring 2013

Castle Oil to be replaced by a 60-unit complex with esplanade, retail, parking and plantings, and greater height and density than the neighbors might like.

 

The River's Edge site plan submitted for Sleepy Hollow planning board approval on what is now Castle Oil and it surroundings includes 60 residential units, 122 parking spaces, and about 2,000 square feet of commercial space on 1.63 acres of upland area, including 7,161 square feet of property in Tarrytown.

If this proposed property, located at 11 River Street, sounds dense, it is. Thirty-seven units per acre, compared to surrounding complexes Hudson Harbor (by the same developer) at 10 units per acre and Ichabod's Landing at 15 per acre -- figures Planning Board member Hugh Jones pointed out at Thursday's hearing. 

To this objection, representatives of developer National RE/sources countered that it's their goal not to make more money from greater density, but to provide alternate housing options at a different price point to attract different types of people to the area. People who will be able to live on the waterfront for far less than cost of a million dollar town home. 

The height, of course, was also cause for concern for some nearby tenants, especially those looking down on the project from Hudson Street whose view stands to be compromised. Sixty feet is the maximum height allowed, which is the height of the latest Hudson Harbor building under construction which is notably taller than the older buildings.

While citizens may be concerned, both the height and density were off the table, as they were already approved by the Board of Trustees long ago. Planning Board Chairman George Tanner reminded folks that the board really "has no say" and that the Board of Trustees had already "laid down the law, which precludes us from making any modifications."

Nonetheless, the plans are handsome and people were generally pleased with the look, more riverfront access, and the long-awaited demise of those eyesore green oil tanks. 

The look is in keeping with nearby developments, and John Jenkins, of Perkins+Will Architects, said they were inspired by the “rustic” look of Stone Barns and the Castle-on-Hudson with timber lintels and wood cladding on part of the fieldstone facades. 

Former Mayor of Tarrytown, Paul Janos, said “I think we'll be proud.”

Coveted waterfront property will finally be made accessible to the public, with an esplanade, , and fill to connect the land to the existing stretch nearby. Landscape architect John Imbiano of Bedford Hills said the esplanade will have similar railings and lights as the connecting paths. Historic light fixtures will resemble those on Beekman, around Horan's Landing and in Hudson Harbor. 

They will also be reclaiming some of the asphalt from the Sleepy Hollow DPW site across the street to make the area more pedestrian-friendly. Moving all of the DPW, as has been formerly proposed, is on hold until the GM development plans are finalized, since  the DPW would move there. The village will not be responsible for maintaining plantings, which will number 48 new native trees, 120+ shrubs, and hundreds of perennials and grasses. 

The building will sit 60 feet from water's edge, while bi-level parking (underground and above) deck will be 40 feet away from the water. A, perhaps seasonal, kiosk will be available for a retail space. Planners imagined an ice cream shop, bait-and-tackle, whatever's viable. 

Engineers addressed drainage and run-off issues. A slow motor system will treat the water run-off and work with the tides, so storm water will have no effect and the exiting erosion problem will be remedied.

And, asked resident Susan McFarlane of Ichabod's Landing, when will this all happen? The timeline given was: breaking ground in the spring of 2013 and finishing 9 to 12 months after this.

Krista Madsen January 25, 2012 at 04:32 PM
One thing about Castle Oil I will actually miss: the white tugboat that is always parked there with its barge.
Burt January 26, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Looks like an office building. I don't see it blending in with the rest of the projects that have been and are being built on the riverfront. It looks like it belongs on route 119.

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