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The State of GM Site

Where's that winning bidder we were promised? What's up with the Tarrytown lawsuit? What about the river dredging? And when will someone start relieving our tax burden already?

 

The intersection of business and government doesn't get any more interesting or complicated than at the former site of GM.

Remember back in November 2011 when Patch wrote, "The Village of Sleepy Hollow is expecting to hear what bidder GM has chosen to potentially redevelop the village’s massive waterfront site within the next few weeks"?

Obviously November, December and all the months thereafter have come and gone. Still no word from GM.

What's the hold up?

Most likely that lawsuit from Tarrytown filed back in May 2011, alleging that the proposed development would pose too great a traffic impact on the Village, and has no adequate traffic mitigation plans.

“It's getting very frustrating,” said Sleepy Hollow Village Administrator Anthony Giaccio of the “slow wheels of justice.” Certainly no one, he said, would be buying any property until any legal matters hanging over it are resolved; he believes this case alone is to blame to for the delay.

Tarrytown Village Administrator Mike Blau couldn't specify when resolution might come. “We have no idea when a decision will be rendered by the judge,” said Blau, clarifying that the case had been made and it was just up to the judge at this point.

As stipulated by special permits obtained from the village,  last summer on an approved site plan containing an 1,177 residential unit community with 125,000 square feet in commercial space, a 140-room hotel, and a movie theater. Proposals were due by September 2, 2011 and GM was expected to review them and narrow it down to a single bidder, reporting back to the Village at the beginning of November. The site would have to be transferred over to the new owners by the end of February, 2012.

February too has passed but Giaccio is at least optimistic that the Village Board will get an extension on the special permits as they have twice for the development. 

Next up: the river dredging. Giaccio expects the final plan will be arriving from the Department of Environmental Conservation in the next few weeks for the last stages of the clean up operation proposed at the  in March. The DEC is putting together a written response, Giaccio said, mainly addressing Riverkeeper's concerns. From here, he hopes the permit process would begin in June as it takes “some months,” and the dredging would be on schedule for the winter months.

Then there was the matter recently of those many , now moved closer to Beekman where they can be better monitored. The Village has a license agreement from GM to be on the property which they don't have to pay for. They just need to have insurance for use for special events like the fireworks and the swim-for-life, or for regular use of the lot for all those garbage trucks. While the technical owner of the many acred site is Mt. Pleasant Industrial Development Agency, this, Giaccio says, is “just a mechanism to give GM tax exempt status.”

Of course the Village (and its villagers) eagerly anticipate the day a new owner will indeed pay some taxes.

Craig Allan June 06, 2012 at 12:41 PM
What a shame the Sleepy Hollow River Port idea was not further investigated. Imagine how fantastic our own version of Mystic Seaport could have been. How much revenue it would have earned and how many long terms jobs it would have provided in the community. Just look at how successful Historic Hudson’s Pirates on Hudson was last year and the revenue earned through tourism from Mystic Seaport.
joy June 06, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Thanks for the update
Krista Madsen (Editor) June 06, 2012 at 01:47 PM
That would have been incredible. Seems we are in an age of lesser ideas.
John Anderson June 06, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Many years ago, I wrote into the Tarry News mentioning a indoor water park with an Icabod / Hudson River theme. The fun would start from the City piers, where every 2 hours, people would board a "pirate ship", a train station could also be bulit (both to elleviate vehicle traffic), an education center could teach kids about the making of the Hudson River, original settlers and American Indians. A roller coaster going 1/4 mile out into the hudson (underwater) and back. This would create jobs, bring some money into the villages, but maybe some traffic, or maybe not if given a discount for tickets purachsed online including a train or ship ride. Okay, ready for the critics.
Craig Allan June 06, 2012 at 05:45 PM
John, thanks for sharing this! Such a shame that these creative ideas have not had an in depth study. Building more houses, particularly dense housing just means more infra structure costs and increased taxes.

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