The revitalization of New York’s fourth-largest city is underway. Yonkers, located in Westchester County along the majestic Hudson River, has a lot of love.
Award Ceremony Held Annually in Yonkers to Commemorate Women’s History Month
YONKERS, NY – March 4, 2019 – Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano today announced that the City of Yonkers is accepting nominations for the city’s annual “Women of Distinction” Award, presented each year during March to celebrate Women’s History Month. The annual “Women of Distinction” Award recognizes Yonkers women who have served their local community and positively impacted the lives of Yonkers residents. The public can nominate a Yonkers resident as a woman of distinction at www.YonkersNY.gov.
“So often it is our women who give so much of themselves to ensure Yonkers becomes a better city in which to live, work and play. They are our community leaders, educators and agents of social change,” said Mayor Mike Spano. “I encourage our Yonkers residents to nominate the heroes in their lives for our Women of Distinction Award.”
The deadline to submit a nomination is Wednesday, March 20; the award ceremony will be held on Thursday, March 28 at 6:00 pm at Yonkers City Hall (Ceremonial Courtroom, 4th Floor).
About Women’s History Month
Women’s History Month originated in 1981 when Congress passed a resolution requesting President Reagan to commemorate “Women’s History Week.” The President proclaimed the week beginning on March 7, 1982 as the first Women’s History Week and the nation continued to designate a week in March as Women’s History Week until 1987 when the month of March was officially declared “Women’s History Month.” Learn more atwww.womenshistorymonth.gov.
What: Nancy Lieberman Charities in partnership with WorldVentures Foundation and Sport Court, has teamed up with the City of Yonkers to provide a brand new Dream Court to community of Yonkers. John Barton Park sits on half an acre in the city with a playground, swings and beautiful sitting area. Dream Courts are top-quality, multipurpose play spaces built in underserved communities so children have a safe area to shoot hoops, socialize and learn about teamwork and good sportsmanship. Programming funded through a Rotary Grant will begin on the court after the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
Who: Nancy Lieberman Charities, WorldVentures Foundation and Sport Court® — builds top-quality, multipurpose play spaces in underserved communities so children have safe areas to socialize, play games and learn about teamwork and good sportsmanship. To date, there are 70 courts nationwide.
When: Tuesday, February 26, 2019
3:30 pm – Ribbon Cutting
Where: John Barton Park
High St., Yonkers, NY 10701
Media Opportunities: Nancy Lieberman, Nancy Lieberman Charities founder and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer who made history in 2018 by becoming the 1st Female Head Coach of a Men’s Professional in the BIG3 for team Power, former Sacramento Kings assistant coach in NBA.
Mayor Mike Spano, City of Yonkers
Councilwoman Shanae Williams, City of Yonkers
Pete Spano, Lead Fundraiser
YONKERS, NY – February 19, 2019 – Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano today announced his annual State of the City address will be held on Wednesday, March 13, at 7:00 pm at the Yonkers Riverfront Library in Larkin Plaza. The State of the City will be the eighth address for the Mayor since coming into office in 2012.
“Each year I look forward to addressing the residents of Yonkers on the most recent economic, social, business and educational conditions of our City,” said Mayor Spano. “Yonkers continues to make progress and introduce various initiatives that are aimed at bettering Yonkers as a whole. Most importantly, I strongly believe our city has a vision and a strong foundation which continuously allows us to grow and improve as a community.”
Residents will be able to view Mayor Spano’s address live on-line at www.YonkersNY.gov and locally on television channel 39 (FiOS) and channel 78 (Cablevision). A live broadcast also will be available on social media platforms Facebook & Twitter atwww.Facebook.com/CityofYonkers &www.Twitter.com/CityofYonkers.
Artwork to Be Displayed at City’s Newest Public Space, Phase III of the Saw Mill River Daylighting Project
YONKERS, NY – January 24, 2019 – Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, in collaboration with the City’s Department of Planning & Development, is calling for submissions of art to be displayed at the Phase III of the Saw Mill River Daylighting Park at New Main Street. The call to artists aims to connect residents and visitors with original works of art, inspire creativity and continue the revitalization of Yonkers’ waterfront district.
“Yonkers is quickly becoming a destination City for artists to live, work and exhibit,” said Mayor Mike Spano. “Daylighting III is one of the most unique urban revitalization projects in New York State. By local artists contributing to the space, it will only enhance this new and exciting downtown destination for our residents.”
Submissions should be sculpture-themed and should relay themes of environmental awareness, such as the paramount role of the Saw Mill River influencing the return of wildlife native to the area. Another encouraged theme is Veterans due to the presence of the City’s Department of Veterans’ Services, located across from the park.
Public artwork from local artists has been a key component at Daylighting I at Van der Donck Park and at Daylighting II at the Mill Street Courtyard which has brought attention to Yonkers as a new arts and cultural center.
Artists should submit a proposal that includes a narrative describing how their work conveys the theme, specifications such as medium, size, and weight, and the Photoshop rendering of the sculpture. Artists should also include their artist statement, bio, and website. All artists must send progress photos of their work during the duration of its production.
Each artist is responsible for bringing their sculptures on site for execution on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. Personal tours of the park will be provided if requested on weekdays between the hours of 2-4PM. The City will be accepting only one sculpture submission per artist.
Artists will be notified on Friday, February 22 if their artwork has been selected.
The Daylighting of the Saw Mill River is a multi-phase development which encompasses new urban river and parks through the heart of downtown Yonkers. Prior to the completion of these projects, the Saw Mill River was buried for nearly a century beneath the City through the 1890s-1920s. The first phase of the daylighted river near the City’s train station, now known as Van Der Donck Park, was completed in 2012 and Phase II at the Mill Street Courtyard was accomplished in 2016. Completed in 2018, Daylighting III is a forward-looking, public oasis that provides the community with accessible green space and an opportunity to connect with the newly uncovered river.
YONKERS, NY – December 19, 2018 – The City of Yonkers this week was awarded a $1.25 million grant for the continued daylighting of the Saw Mill River by the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council. The grant will help fund Phase 4 of the multi-phase revitalization project which includes a new urban river and parks through the center of downtown Yonkers.
“The daylighting of the Saw Mill River has provided a tremendous boost to Yonkers’ economy, helping to spur economic development, create jobs and bring new businesses to our downtown,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “With this new grant, Yonkers will continue to build inviting public parks, uncover the buried river and revitalize the city.”
Mayor Spano continued, “New York State has been instrumental to the success of not only the daylighting project, but Yonkers as a whole. I want to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo, our State Delegation and the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council for their continued commitment and investment in Yonkers.”
Phase 4 of the Daylighting of the Saw Mill River proposes continuing the return of the Saw Mill River to its natural state by ‘daylighting’ it. The river was once buried in a concrete flume throughout downtown in the 1890s-1920s. The City of Yonkers plans to build on the major ecological, economic and educational impacts of earlier Daylighting phases, which have been nationally and internationally acclaimed. Phase 1 and 2 spurred $500 million of housing and mixed-use projects, plus an additional $500 million approved or proposed developments including the $190 million Rising/RXR Realty mixed-use development with 440 units being constructed on the south edge of Phase 1 now known as Van der Donck Park. Several other major residential developments are also under construction, approved or being proposed, continuing the downtown transformation. The daylighting has attracted new restaurants and high-quality tech jobs including 185 employees at the new headquarters of tech giant IAC Applications.
On November 14, 2018, Daylighting Phase 3 was officially completed, which creates a gateway river-themed 1.25 acre park along the Nepperhan Avenue arterial. Phase 3 is a seamless river walk park with the adjacent Phase 4, which will unearth the river near the Chicken Island parking lot, recently purchased by AMS Acquisitions, which plans to construct a major mixed-use redevelopment that will create hundreds of construction and permanent jobs.
The grant award comes from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation’s (EFC) Green Innovation Grant Program, which previously funded Phase 1, 2 and 3. This EFC grant coupled with the 2016 award of $2.4 million from Empire State Development’s Capital Program now gives Yonkers a total of $3,650,000 for the Phase 4 project.
A new survey from WalletHub has named Yonkers among the 10 safest U.S. cities. Across the border in Fairfield County, Bridgeport was ranked as the nation’s 80th safest city.
WalletHub analyzed 184 cities in a 39-item data set ranging from assaults per capita to unemployment rate to road quality. Yonkers ranked seventh in the nation for overall safety, as well as ranking in second place for WalletHub’s “home and community safety” category and fifth place and fifth for fewest traffic fatalities per capita. Yonkers was the sole Westchester city to make the WalletHub list.
Communications Director, City of Yonkers
Politics has been branded as many things. For Christina Gilmartin, it’s “a different type of entertainment.” And she should know. Gilmartin, who oversees the press, social media, marketing, public relations, and external communications for the City of Yonkers and Mayor Mike Spano, previously worked in communications for TV networks. “You use the same skillset, though my crisis-communication skills have been honed here more than in my previous positions,” she laughs.
Gilmartin has always been interested in politics, minoring in political science in college. “I grew up in a household where politics was talked about every day,” she says, adding that her mother was active in Yonkers politics, and the young Gilmartin would tag along with her to meetings and events.
Today, part of Gilmartin’s role is to successfully build public support for initiatives that the mayor is passionate about, such as the Rebuild Yonkers Schools and Ban the Barges campaigns. And she is proud to represent women in her field. “Government tends to be a male-dominated industry,” she says. “We are just starting to see women come to the top, which is a validation that women are just as smart and valuable, and have different and unique points of view than the men in the room.” She also knows the playing field is far from level. “There is still a lot of work ahead of us,” she says.
YONKERS – Eight rental apartment buildings in the city, with a total of 81 units, have recently been sold for $12.3 million in a package deal, according to NuRealty Advisors, a commercial real estate brokerage firm in Yonkers.
The seller was Rhodium Capital Advisors of New York City, and the buyer was Canvas Blue Development of Scarsdale, according to NuRealty.
Michael Nukho, NuRealty’s principal real estate broker who represented the seller, said he has seen a large influx of investors coming to Yonkers from New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut.
“The reason is Yonkers is on the rise. Values are rising as investors see (Yonkers’) proximity to New York City,” he said. “They see the capital invested in the Yonkers downtown.”
Lukasz Przybylek, NuRealty’s associate real estate broker who represented the buyer, echoed Nukho, saying that so far, the rising interest rates haven’t caused investment slowdown.
As developers and investors flock to Yonkers, the city’s apartment rents are steadily rising.
As of October, the average rent for an apartment in Yonkers is $1,913, up 2 percent from the previous year when the average rent was $1,870, according to RentCafe, a nationwide internet listing service.
The 12.3 million, 81-unit package:
156 Woodworth Ave. — 26 units
50 Fairview St. — 6 units
52 Fairview St. — 6 units
54 Fairview St. — 7 units
12 Orchard Place — 8 units
20 Orchard Place — 8 units
28 Orchard Place —10 units
138 Orchard St. — 10 units
Source: NuRealty Advisors
$16 Million Sale of Six Acre Property Allows for Continued Revitalization of Downtown Yonkers
Rendering of Chicken Island Master Plan (Photo: AMS Acquisitions)
YONKERS, NY – October 29, 2018 – Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano today announced the sale of the downtown parcel commonly known as “Chicken Island” to developer AMS Acquisitions LLC.
AMS Acquisitions agreed to purchase the six acre property from the City for $16 million. AMS and the City have signed a letter of intent for the sale of the property, with AMS paying an $800,000 deposit. The balance of the funds will be paid once the sale is approved by the City Council.
“Seven years ago the Chicken Island redevelopment plan was dead,” said Mayor Spano, referring to a former plan to build a minor league baseball stadium on the site. He added, “Now we have a workable plan, backed up with hard dollars that the City can use in the short run to fund our schools and essential services, and in the long run we will collect many millions of real estate and income taxes plus take another giant leap forward in revitalizing the downtown.”
“The City has tried for more than 40 years to develop Chicken Island without success,” said Spano, adding, “This is a game changer for Yonkers, because it proves economic development and a growing tax base is possible beyond the waterfront.”
“This plan is hard evidence that Yonkers has turned around and that it is where investors and residents see a bright future,” said Mayor Spano. Mayor Spano also noted that the plan will require that ten percent of all units be affordable and rented to persons with moderate incomes.
Mayor Spano added, “AMS Acquisitions has proposed a comprehensive development we feel will provide our city with new opportunities that will attract local and regional visitors to Yonkers and truly make us a destination. We are excited to finally put for bricks and mortar on the ground.”
AMS Acquisitions’ vision for “Chicken Island” is it to become the epicenter of the downtown, with a concentration of shopping, dining and experiential retail, coupled with multifamily buildings, an office component and a luxury hotel.
“Downtown Yonkers is in the midst of a renaissance,” said Michael Mitnick, Principal, AMS Acquisitions LLC. “AMS is invested heavily in the growth and expansion of this incredible and unique market. An abundance of culture, diversity and history, combined with a beautiful natural landscape, and robust development is fueling the success of this City.”
Coined “Chicken Island” in the late 1800’s when a small island in the Saw Mill River was used as a local chicken farm, the six acre site is located to the north east of Yonkers City Hall. The site is zoned D-MX (downtown mixed use zoning) a high density zone permitting development up to 25 stories and which permits a wide variety of uses including retail, restaurant, office, colleges, personal service establishments, residential as well as many other alternatives. AMS Acquisitions’ development of “Chicken Island” will complement the building of the new Fire Station 1 on New School Street and the soon-to-be completed Phase III of the Saw Mill Daylighting along New Main Street.
AMS Acquisitions LLC (AMS) is a real estate investment firm which focuses on the acquisition and development of retail, residential, and office properties in the New York Metropolitan area. Since forming in 2012, AMS has built a portfolio of approximately 1,500,000 square feet throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. AMS’ development portfolio consists of an excess of $1 Billion in total capitalization. AMS’ expertise in multiple asset classes gives it the ability to understand and unlock value on both ends of mixed-use projects. Some of AMS Acquisitions’ current holdings include mixed use properties in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, New Jersey and Yonkers, including 86 and 92 Main Street.