The “Westmoreland Project” – Reclaiming residential space through rezoning…

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Over the past couple of years, White Plains has once again become a developers darling. There are several major projects underway, four of them clustered around the western portion of the downtown.

The Westmoreland rezoning in White Plains…

This is not so much a massive development as a series of projects designed to preserve some of our older buildings while repurposing  them from industrial to more residential use.

Tucked away behind the neighborhood of Fisher Hill in White Plains is Westmoreland Avenue. The area had previously been zoned exclusively for light industrial use. The zoning changes enacted by the city council changed that to residential multi-purpose.

Since the city of White Plains saw fit to tear down great swaths of the downtown in the 1970s in order to make room for a vast urban renewal project, finding pockets where original architecture has been preserved is like finding hens teeth. Westmoreland Ave. is one of those areas. Many of the buildings date back 100 years or more.  This time, we learned from our past mistakes and Instead of razing the existing structures to make way for new construction, the buildings along that street are being repurposed for mixed residential/industrial use.

As you can see from the photo above, renovations on the old Swackhamer building are well under way.  The end result will be a series of high-end lofts.

More renovations are planned for buildings on Westmoreland.  So the entire area will be transformed while preserving the past.

Other projects around Fisher Hill White Plains…

There are several other big projects in various stages of development for the western portion of downtown White Plains.  These do not include the other large projects near the City Center.

Bank Street…

Recently, I wrote a blog post about the LCOR project at 55 Bank Street, which is going to add 561 vitally needed units to our rental housing stock.  The ground-breaking for this project was in November of 2015.

The Boulevard…

Beyond the Bank Street and Westmoreland projects which are underway, there is a large retail project called the Boulevard  slated for West Post Road along route 22. The Boulevard will feature 250,000 sf of space for health and fitness, retail, and dining.

Downtown White Plains Transit District…

But the biggest project for the area involves the rebuild of the White Plains train station.  The downtown White Plains transit district is being planned as of this writing. Public input is being requested and several public meetings are planned. For those who wish to give their input, they can do so at transitdistrict@whiteplainsny.gov.

The train station has long been a bone of contention for residents, and the rebuild is attempt to transform the station into a transit district with restaurants, retail and parkland. Its designed to be biker and pedestrian-friendly, but not necessarily car-friendly which I feel is a mistake. Last week was the first of several public forums about the transit district.

For those who wish to give their input, can do so at transitdistrict@whiteplainsny.gov.

Fisher Hill, Battle Hill and Prospect Park…

Fisher Hill - White Plains NY - 10606For those who have read my posts in the past, you will know my mantra about watching where the developers are putting their shovels in the ground. This is particularly true when both pubic and private money is being pumped in. Situations such as this almost always result in a growth spurt which is followed by a significant appreciation in home values.

This is very good news for the Battle Hill, Fisher Hill and Prospect Park neighborhoods who are right in the cross-hairs of these developments.

Note: Many thanks to Frances Jones and Renee Marks Cohen for their help in finding online links.

© 2016 – Ruthmarie G. Hicks – https://thewestchesterview.com – All rights reserved.

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