By CHRIS EBERHART
The current 3.4-acre site by the intersection of Winterhill Road and Main Street across the street from the Main Street Park is a barren mud lot composed of rocks, garbage and a giant crater.
“It’s an unsightly property, and it’s been an unsightly property for many, many years,” Tuckahoe Mayor Steve Ecklond, a Republican, said after a groundbreaking ceremony on May 8 to commence construction of a 108-unit luxury rental community. “But this project is going to bring a beautiful development to the area.”
The project Ecklond referred to will include 108-units of residential apartments—61 one-bedroom units and 47 two-bedroom units—in three apartment buildings: a three-story building at 233 Midland Ave., a four-story building at 160 Main St. and a three-story building at 150 Main St., which will include 30 residential units and 3,500 square-feet of commercial space. The site also includes a 169-space underground parking garage.
Phil Raffiani, vice president of Mirardo Properties, the Tuckahoe-based real estate developer that owns the site, said plans to upgrade the site started in 2005, but a failing economy caused him to scrap the project and start new in 2010.
Since 2010, Mirardo Pro-perties has sold large shares of the properties to Glenco Group, LLC, a Bronxville-based real estate developer, and Roseland, a Mack Cali subsidiary based in New Jersey that builds and invests in luxury rentals. Mirardo Properties remains a minority owner.
The three companies—Gle-nco Group, Mirardo Properties and Roseland—developed the luxury apartment site plan, which has gone through the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board and was approved in early 2013, according to Glen Vetromile, managing partner at Glenco Group.
Vetromile, along with Raf-fiani, other members of the Roseland and Glenco Group team and Mayor Ecklond, dug the tips of their shovels into the mud around noon on May 8 and tossed crumbs of dirt forward to mark the ceremonial beginning of construction.
The luxury rental buildings will also consist of amenities such as an exercise room, yoga studio and an outdoor terrace with gardens, a water sculpture, a freestanding stone fireplace pit and an outdoor kitchen.
Vetromile said construction, which will be done by Belle Associates, a New Jersey-based construction company, will take approximately 18 months to complete.
“Over the next year and half or so, you’ll see this project rise and be framed and soon be occupied by residents that will make Tuckahoe their home,” Vetromile said. “It will be the new entrance coming in from Midland Avenue and Winterhill Road, so people coming from the east will see a beautiful new project.”
As part of the project, Glenco Group agreed to renovate the outside portion of the park across the street, which will cost about $150,000, according to Vetromile. He said the entire perimeter will be upgraded with trees and planting,
new fencing will be added around the park and there will be improved lighting.
Vetromile said he, along with Raffiani, plan to go beyond the agreement by investing their own money and raising funds to be able to refurbish the inner portion of the park.
In addition to beautifying the area, Ecklond said the new development will have a positive impact on the village’s budget by adding a new revenue stream.
“It positively impacts us from the department of building fees. But that’s a one-time shot. Moving long term, a piece of vacant land like this produces virtually no real estate or school taxes,” Ecklond said. “But once it’s occupied it will really become valuable and the village and school will see tax revenue in about two or three years at the most.”
Andrew Marshall, executive vice president of Roseland, said Tuckahoe is a good site for this luxury apartment complex because of the village’s “friendly, quaint” personality and its close proximity to New York City.
“Just 35 minutes on the train to Grand Central [Station] is not a bad way to go. I have places in [New] Jersey that I can’t get to in 35 minutes, and they’re only 10 miles away,” Marshall said.