Interestingly enough our national longterm economic slump may have actually helped sell units at the fast-expanding Hudson Harbor complex.
Paul Janos, head of sales and marketing for the development quickly changing the riverfront face of Tarrytown – and soon Sleepy Hollow – said most of the existing tenants there have downsized themselves here from larger homes, most of them coming from elsewhere in Westchester. He also added that most are empty-nesters whose kids are grown (and not taking up space in our crowded school system).
I met with Janos last week to get an update on all the activity between train tracks and the Hudson, where Carriage Houses seem to sprout up daily. Neither snow nor Hurricane Sandy slows down these workers – about 100 of them in total, said Janos – who are halfway through with the project so far.
In what is known as the Stone Lodge behind Lighthouse Ice Cream, Crabtree-Kittle House is building out 6,000 square feet of first-floor space for a unique offshoot of their popular Chappaqua restaurant.
What is being called Rivermarket promises: a wine and spirits shop, and a fresh market with “a little of everything,” Janos said, and a bar/kitchen. This is all slated for an early 2013 opening.
Upstairs on the second level are 20 condos, all of which are sold.
Adjacent to these and also part of Phase 1 development were the townhomes, all slightly doing their own thing but together forming a little neighborhood of houses that go for $1 million and up. Of these, 36 have sold, said Janos.
Then there’s the Club House. Riverstone Yoga has taken space downstairs in the fancy barnlike building near the tenant’s gym. Upstairs, there's an open lofty space, this time of year complete with roaring fire warming a cozy sitting area. Hudson Harbor residents can reserve this for parties or just enjoy it with their friends. On this night, there was a a windows company setting up tables for their cocktail party.
On the deck there is the outdoor pool, which was something of a sore spot when it opened for nontenant Tarrytowners who remember that public pool they were once promised from Greenwich, CT-based developer Joe Cotter of National RE/sources.
“We’re in talks with the village,” said Janos, telling me to stay tuned on that aquatic center. “It’s in the works.”
Village Administrator Michael Blau wouldn't specify the content of these talks, only saying this about several executive sessions the Board of Trustees recently held with Hudson Harbor on the agenda: "we are in discussions with National RE/sources about a number of outstanding issues."
From the pool deck, you see every corner of the development clearly – under 28 acres. Cotter is certainly a busy man in a busy firm. In addition to this, there are simultaneous projects in Edgewater, NJ (similar to this) and Yonkers (commercial).
One of the carriage homes was moonlighting last month as America’s Dream Home (so dubbed by Westchester Magazine) and was completely outfitted and perfectly appointed by designers.
Usually at parties everyone congregates to the kitchen, but on this tour, we were all gathered around the toilet, whose lid magically lifts when you’re approaching. The bathtub filled from a hole all the way up on the ceiling (which miraculously didn’t splash out of the tub, designed apparently just deep enough). Then there was the TV built seamlessly into the mirror. I wondered: does it fog? There was a TV in every corner so you’d never be alone. For all the luxuries ($1.5 million worth if you want it all as is), the place is very green, as is everything in the development.
Janos described a new way of living, “smart growth”: homeowners within walking distance of all the amenities of Tarrytown, just feet away from the train, they hardly need a car. All the buildings are LEED certified, “not that greenwash where you throw on some bamboo flooring,” Janos said. The workers are local and all the materials probably come from within a 500 mile radius, Janos said.
There was a New York Times article in 2009 called "Developers in the Age of Caution" featuring this complex in its earliest days.
"Hudson Harbor, a condominium in Tarrytown, has been altered in midstream to include amenities like elevators and geothermal heating. Prices have also been lowered," the article stated.
While the prices may have dropped some and amenities upped, sales and the building schedule still have not been as speedy as they may have hoped. Still, Janos said, crediting the offerings of Tarrytown itself, the location and the quality construction, sales have been good.
Hurricane Sandy hit here not a bit. “Nothing whatsoever,” said Janos of any damage or problems to land or buildings from the storm. Though river water surged all the way past the development to Village Hall, it stayed in the train parking lot and never touched Hudson Harbor. “Our grade is a little higher here and our electric is underground,” Janos said.
There will be more Carriage Houses to come in each corner of a quadrangle, the center of which will be “like Gramercy Park” in NYC, Janos said. All of the Carriage Houses should be done by spring.
Next to Lookout South there will be Lookout North, similarly styled to these glassy condos. In Lookout South there are 42 units, 30 of which are already sold. The foundation of the North building will begin soon, as many of these projects hit different stages simultaneously.
In total, this development will have 238 units, 98 done so far. Prices of units soon or already on the market: from $500,000 to $1.5 million in the Lookout, $940,000 to $1.5 million in the Carriage Houses.
On the far end of the lot, the anomalous building that is now the sales office won’t be necessary once everything is built and sold, nor will a sales manager. The future role of this building is undetermined, Janos said, though it will likely be “some kind of amenity.” Stay tuned.
The Castle Oil project in Sleepy Hollow is separate but will mimic the look (and height) of the Lookout building and ultimately connect one RiverWalk to the next. Contracts are in the works for that now, Janos said. For now, residents can enjoy a bare space and a better view than those green tanks afforded.
Then there are the cranes busy dredging the edge of the GM site, whose future development will dwarf the magnitude of Hudson Harbor if it ever gets going.