By CHRIS EBERHART
Two developers and nearly 10 years later, progress is finally being made on the proposed Kensington Road condominiums in Bronxville.
A subcommittee of citizens and village trustees chaired by Deputy Mayor Robert Underhill selected the Greenwich-based real estate developer Fareri Associates for the project and, on Dec. 9, the village board passed a resolution that allows Bronxville to negotiate a deal with the developer to finally complete the project, which was originally proposed in 2004 by Spectrum Kensington, LLC, which was later acquired by the Florida-based developer WCI Construction.
According to a resolution pas-sed on Dec. 9, Bronxville sent out a request for proposals in June to purchase the property, perform an environmental remediation and construct the same project that was previously approved by Bronxville’s Planning Board and Design Review Committee.
“It’s basically taking the shovel out of WCI’s hand and handing it to Fareri,” Underhill said. “We took precisely what was approved by the Planning Board, put it in an RFP and said ‘bid on this.’”
According to the resoluti-on, the project calls for Far-eri Associates to turn the 110,000-square-foot area near the Bronxville train station into a 54-unit condo with a 300-space underground parking garage along with an outdoor parking lot with 200 spaces that can be used exclusively by the village after the a permit is purchased for the spot.
Underhill said the condominiums will be built with an eye toward empty nesters; young professionals or older people without children living in the house.
But before construction can begin, Ferari Associates agreed to rid the property of contaminants left over by a Texaco gas station that closed in the early 1990s and a coal-powered power plant, which operated on the site prior to Texaco.
Mayor Mary Marvin, a Re-publican, said clearing the area of contaminants, which will be done at the developer’s expense, saves the village between $8 and $10 million and clears the village of liability.
Marvin said not only will the condominiums provide housing units, they will also be an additional source of revenue, generating about $600,000 in property taxes per year, 85 percent of which will go towards offsetting school taxes.
Underhill said he hopes to ha-mmer out a contract with Fareri Associates in a week or two then vote on it during the Jan. 13 village board meeting, which would authorize the mayor to execute the contract. He said, with that timeline in mind, remediation work would start in the spring, which will be nearly 10 years after Spectrum Kensington, LLC originally proposed the project in 2004.
Underhill said WCI scrubbed the project after a collapsing real estate market in Florida forced the company to file for bankruptcy about five years ago before shovels could be put in the ground
Marvin said Ferari Associates will also work on beautification in the area by landscaping the nearby neighborhood with new sidewalks, curbing, planting and underground utilities.
Marvin called the property an eyesore, but has faith in Ferari Associates to fix the property up.
“The team we selected has very strong financials as well as experience in constructing near MTA property,” she said.