By CHRIS EBERHART
Rector Street Development, LLC president Jay Reinhard and former Republican Tuckahoe Mayor Michael Martino have proposed a $46 million development plan for the village’s Marble Hall housing complex to the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency.
During their Oct. 24 presentation, Rienhard asked the county board for $30 million in tax-exempt bonds to help cover a portion of the costs to modernize Tuckahoe’s 35-year-old Section 8 housing located on Columbus Avenue. Of the remaining $16 million, $14 million will be funded through taxpayer equity and $2 million will be funded by the developer.
Rienhard said the $46 million will account for the acquisition cost of $32.5 million, rehabilition costs of $5 million and the remaining $8.5 million will cover the cost of construction monitoring, bank and legal fees.
Reinhard said the building is operational as it is now, but the planned alterations will extend the life of the building another 20 to 30 years.
“It’s clean. It’s neat. But it’s time for some upgrades,” Rienhard said. “We want to put new windows and new boilers [in] to keep it more energy efficient. We are also updating the kitchens and the bathrooms. We’re redoing the facade. And we’re also adding more security cameras and lighting around the project.”
The meeting was part of a preliminary inducement phase to kickoff the project, and the final IDA vote won’t come until next year.
Reinhard said he wants to begin the renovations in April or May of 2014.
With that timeline in mind, IDA board member Eileen Mildenberger said, around February or March of next year, a public hearing will be held in which the public will be allowed to express their opinions. The IDA will reconvene shortly after for the final vote, which will set up Rienhard to begin renovations early next spring.
Rienhard said he has to coordinate with New York housing for tax credits and apply for government financing through Housing and Urban Development, which he says will take about six months.
Although the IDA won’t vote until next year, Republican County Executive Rob Astorino foresees the project moving forward and said he “assumes” the IDA will approve the bonds. Astorino called the project a “win-win” proposal.
“This is the kind of project that puts people back to work,” Astorino said, referring to the 75 construction jobs that will be created. “It helps the residents of Marble Hall…It will be cleaner, newer, warmer and more energy efficient.”
Right now, the 133-unit building is full to capacity, and Reinhard expects it to be full come time for the renovations, but he said none of the tenants will be displaced during the construction.
IDA chairman Stephen J. Hunt said there’s a need for upgrading old buildings like Marble Hall and commended developers like Rector Street Development, LLC for taking on modernization projects.
“One of the problems of the housing business is the deteriorating housing stock. The overall structures are very sound, but they need work. They need the kitchens and the bathrooms,” Hunt said. “When you have a good set of developers that are willing to acquire and rehabilitate the deteriorating housing stock, it’s always a good thing.”