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.