Pelham Village Mayor Chance Mullen, giving an overview of pending Downtown Apartment Developments, said Monday night (Dec. 4) that they are needed to revitalize the Village to improve the tax base and generate revenues to fund Village infrastructure.
Speaking at The Manor Club at a meeting open to the public, Mayor Mullen said new tax revenues from the apartment developments will lessen the tax burden on homeowners and bring new life to the downtown with new foot traffic for current and future reatil stores and restaurants.
The mayor reviewed a recent report showing that $17.4 million would be needed to repair and bring up to NY State code and ADA requirements the Village fire house, the parking deck on Fourth Avenue, Village Hall on Sparks Avenue and rented Police facilities in Town Hall. One pending proposal from Pelham House for rental apartments on Fifth Avenue would include a municipal building for fire, police and Village offices on the former Capital Bank property as well as incorporate public parking in the project and add public parking behind Rockwells.
The mayor listed other infrastructure needs including sewer and traffic lights and pointed out that the Village Board has approved a Mitigation Law that requires developers to pay a "fair share" of infrastructure costs as part of the approval process for their projects.
To date, only three new residential projects have been built—rental apartments next to the fire house, condominiums on Lincoln Avenue and luxury rental apartments at Boulevard West. Mayor Mullen said the apartments next to the firehouse have been leased (one school age child), none of the condominiums yet purchased and the 8 Boulevard apartments have several leases.
Pending projects include rental apartments (all with parking for residents 1 per unit in the building) are located at 163 Wolfs Lane, 139 Fifth Avenue, 48 First Street and the Pelham House project on Fifth Avenue where the firehouse and Village parking lots are now located. The 101 Wolfs Lane project with 63 rental units won site plan approval but missed the deadline for a building permit. (It can reapply.) If all projects proposed are added, a total of 265 new apartment units will be erected in the downtown corridor. Ground floor retail space is planned at all the new apartment buildings.
During a Q&A session, Mayor Mullen was asked how 1 parking place per unit was decided for the rental apartments. He said developers expect that tenants will be using the train and have one personal car and may rent a car or use Uber. Asked about new traffic in the Village, he said traffic will be leaving and returning to the Village with tenants walking to the train and walking to local retail stores and restaurants.
It was also pointed outby a member of the audience that homeowners face a long waiting list for parking permits at Village lots near the train. The mayor said one parking space costs $30,000 to build and he does not believe the Village should go into debt to build new parking structures. One resident suggested the Town might take on the problem—possibly with a bus or trolley to/from the downtown and train.