More than 200 new apartments will be built at two locations on Bronx River Road with assistance from the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency (YIDA), which gave initial approval to the projects at its meeting on Wednesday.


One of the locations consisted largely of a long-empty building, while the other was  a vacant lot. Both will become market rate rentals. Both are being constructed by the Stagg Group. Site work has already commenced at both locations.


The larger of the two developments, at 705 Bronx River Road, has been owned by Stagg since 2013 and has been the subject of various proposals. After negotiations with the City,  which resulted in a rezoning by the City Council earlier this year, Stagg has agreed to build 160 apartments in a project that will cost approximately $28 million to construct. The YIDA will  provide assistance in the form of a sales tax exemption on construction materials, a mortgage tax exemption, and a temporary property tax reduction.


Besides reducing the number of units from the original proposal, Stagg also agreed to provide on-site parking for tenants of the building.  The project is also within walking distance of the Fleetwood and Mount Vernon West train stations, however, and thus conforms with the City’s policy of promoting transit-oriented development.


The other development, at 411 Bronx River Road, will consist of 44 apartments. The property has been the subject of various development proposals for the past several years, many of which pre-date its more recent acquisition by the Stagg Group.


The construction cost is estimated at $8.2 million. The YIDA is assisting by providing a sales tax exemption on construction materials and a temporary property tax abatement.


“Yonkers continues to attract market rate housing development, which is testimony to the faith that developers and potential residents have in the City’s future,” said Mayor Mike Spano who chairs the YIDA. He added, “These two new buildings in particular are important because they are both within walking distance of commuter rail stations. The more we can provide homes that allow people to use mass transit rather than cars to get to jobs, the more attractive Yonkers becomes to new residents, and the more we reduce our city’s carbon footprint.”






Adopted Budget Contains Lowest Property Tax Increase in 20 Years;

No Cuts in Essential Services or Municipal Layoffs;

Stays Within State-Mandated 2% Tax Cap


City Provides Largest Contribution in History to Yonkers Board of Education


Yonkers, NY – June 1, 2017 — Following weeks of budget hearings and public advocacy meetings, the City of Yonkers 2017-2018 Budget tonight was adopted with a 7-0 vote by the Yonkers City Council. The Budget increases funding for the Yonkers School District for the sixth consecutive year, stays within the state-mandated tax cap with the lowest property tax increase in 20 years and contains no cuts in services or layoffs.

“Overall, this year’s Adopted Budget is a lean, balanced budget that provides greater funding to our schools and students and maintains the level of quality services our taxpayers deserve,” said Mayor Spano.

The City of Yonkers is increasing the Board of Education’s (BOE) operating budget to $557.3 million, which includes $15.7 million from sales tax revenue which will be dedicated to education funding and an additional $400,000 towards funding five guidance counselors, which increases the City’s Maintenance of Effort. This is the largest contribution to the BOE in the City’s history. The City’s combined contribution to the Board of Education has increased by $42.6 million since Fiscal Year 2012.

On the municipal side, the Adopted 2017-2018 Budget maintains all departments and City services, funding vital services and restoring vacant positions in police (5), fire (5) and parks (4).

Additionally, tonight’s vote includes the decision to stay within the state-mandated tax cap, allowing for a 0.23% property tax levy increase, the lowest property tax increase in 20 years and qualifying taxpayers for the State’s tax relief credit program.

The tax rate per thousand dollars of assessed value would increase by $4.60, an increase in the tax rate of 0.61%. Under the proposal, a typical one-to-three family home at the median assessed value of $11,200 would see their annual property tax bill increase by $51.52, or less than $4.30 per month.

Additional items restored in the Adopted Budget include funding for Untermyer Performing Arts Council (UPAC) and anti-violence program SNUG.

Mayor Spano commented, “This year’s budget is a tough one, one that contains tough choices. We will have challenges as we move ahead towards next year’s budget because although our revenues continue to grow, they are being outpaced by our labor union contracts, pensions and healthcare costs. In the meantime, I plan to address our needs to our state and federal government and to pledge to continue the progress we made the last six years by proposing greater efficiencies and savings for our residents.”

Budget Snapshot:

  • $1.154 billion total budget
  • Eliminates most vacant positions; does not contain any municipal layoffs
  • Proposes 0.23% increase in property tax levy (lowest in 20 years)
  • City of Yonkers stays within state mandated 2% tax cap
  • City provides largest contribution to Board of Education in the City’s history


# # #


YONKERS, NY – June 6, 2017 – Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano today announced that Jason Baker, Special Assistant to the Mayor, will assume the responsibilities of the Yonkers Director of Sustainability. In the role, Baker will facilitate efforts to achieve Yonkers’ sustainability policy goals of improving public health and quality of life, reducing costs, and expanding access to green jobs and businesses, within municipal government, homes, neighborhoods, and businesses throughout the City.

“Jason is a natural fit for this position as he expands his role in my administration,” said Mayor Spano. “He has deep knowledge and experience in environmental initiatives and, as a City we look forward to continuing our efforts to make Yonkers a greener, more sustainable place for today and future generations.”

In his role as Special Assistant to Mayor Spano, Baker has directly overseen the Office of Sustainability since 2015. He has been managing a broad-based portfolio of facilities and asset management projects, including the City-wide facility security initiative; the three-phase Vehicle Fleet & Fuel Efficiency Program; and the downtown art-light installations.

Since Baker began overseeing the Office of Sustainability, its successes have included:


  • The Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations Program
  • Implementation of the Environmentally Preferable Procurement Policy (EPP)
  • Expansion of the LED Lighting Replacement Project
  • Expansion of the City/YPS Facilities Energy Conservation Projects


“This is an exciting time for Yonkers, which under Mayor Spano’s leadership is accomplishing transformative conservation measures, resulting in significant energy reduction and cost savings,” said Jason Baker.  “I look forward to the opportunity to continue building on the City’s progress and advance innovative, sustainable practices that promote environmental and economic prosperity.”


Jason Baker joined Mayor Spano’s administration in 2012, where he has held the positions of Deputy Communications Director and Director of the Yonkers Film Office.  Baker began his career has a Regional Coordinator in the New York State Assembly Department of Communication & Information Services.


Since Mayor Spano created the Director of Sustainability position in 2012 when he entered office, the City of Yonkers has launched one of the most ambitious and comprehensive energy plans of any city in New York State. Notable initiatives include the award-winning LED Street Light Replacement Program, which is expected to save taxpayers $18 million in energy costs over ten years and reduce Yonkers’ carbon footprint by 3,000 tons annually;  the passage of the Yonkers Green City Buildings Ordinance, ensuring the City designs and constructs its facilities to be sustainable; the establishment of the first Styrofoam recycling program in New York State, which has resulted in residents recycling the equivalent of 2.5 million Styrofoam coffee cups in just one year; and streamlined solar permitting, which has allowed for more solar rooftop installations in Yonkers than the previous 10 years combined.


Generation Yonkers in the Wall Street Journal

The ad in my Facebook feed was the most intriguing I’ve seen in a while. It featured celebrity chef Christian Petroni—a large, bearded man attired in camouflage pants, a red tribal-print jacket and a pink scarf—declaring, “THERE’S A RENAISSANCE HAPPENING HERE.”


Read the whole story: https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-yonkers-ready-for-its-renaissance-1491298204

Yonkers Leading the Way in Transit Oriented Development

The City of Yonkers is on the cutting edge of one of the hottest trends in real estate – transit oriented development. For the second straight year, the City’s Department of Planning & Development showed off its most impressive transit oriented developments under construction by hosting an exclusive tour for brokers.

More than 30 commercial and residential brokers were on hand for the tour on June 16. The tour, sponsored by Ginsburg Development Companies, Collins Enterprises, National Resources and Simone Development Companies, included stops at the following sites:

  • River Tides at Greystone, a 330-unit, 10-story luxury rental complex overlooking the Hudson River. The project, which is being developed by Ginsburg Development Companies, will have a direct walkway to the Greystone Metro-North train station.
  • Hudson Park Club, the latest addition to the Hudson Park luxury rental complex. The 230,000-square-foot building features 213 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. It’s being developed by Collins Enterprises and is located just blocks from the Yonkers Metro-North station.
  • UNO Micro Unit Apartments, a $15 million development project transforming Building 2 at iPark into 100 micro-unit apartments. Developed by National Resources, the project is a short walk to the Yonkers Metro-North station.

“Transit Oriented Development is a fast-growing trend in urban planning that is creating vibrant, livable and sustainable communities,” said Mayor Mike Spano, who welcomed the brokers after the tour at a cocktail reception at the Boyce Thompson Center, an 85,000-square-foot, mixed-use complex being developed by Simone Development Companies. “We are very pleased to have shared with the brokerage community these important transit oriented developments that are bringing new energy to downtown Yonkers.”

Focus on Yonkers

Yonkers is in the midst of a renaissance, and the transformation has been eye-opening. Commercial and residential development are booming, and millennials and artists are flocking to Yonkers as they did to Brooklyn and Hoboken a decade ago. With cultural, dining and transportation options aplenty, more and more people are seeing the boundless possibilities New York’s fourth largest city has to  offer.

Click here to see the full article

Yonkers Among ArtsWestchester Honorees

Studios, galleries, festivals and arts-centric development projects have been the driving forces behind the revival of Yonkers as a hub of culture and creativity. And people who know a thing or two about art have taken notice.

The City of Yonkers will be among the honorees at ArtsWestchester’s Arts Award Luncheon, scheduled for April 8 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Tarrytown. The Arts Awards are presented annually by ArtsWestchester to recognize individuals and organizations whose vision, commitment and leadership have enriched the cultural life of Westchester County. Yonkers is being honored in the Community category.

“The City of Yonkers is rapidly becoming an Arts City, welcoming artists with new zoning initiatives, fostering creative industries and supporting the cultural infrastructure as a vital component of a ‘happening’ place,” ArtsWestchester CEO Janet Langsam said in announcing the award recipients.

In recent years, Yonkers Arts Weekend in the spring, a jazz series in the summer, and organizations such as Blue Door Gallery, Youth Theatre Interactions and newcomers SUNY Purchase and Urban Studio Unbound have added to the city’s artistic appeal. And in another nod to the city’s artistic bent, the work of Yonkers’ own Barbara Segal is being featured in ArtsWestchester’s spring exhibition, SHE: Deconstructing Female Identity.

Development around the arts is continuing in Yonkers. A grant awarded to R.J. Rose Realty, LLC will be used to develop an arts and technology hub at the former Alexander Smith Carpet Mills site, and an urban heritage waterfront sculpture will be created thanks to funding from another grant. The waterfront has been a hot spot for arts-related development: renowned designer Maya Lin and husband Daniel Wolf recently converted an outdated jail into a gallery and studios.

Yonkers projects benefit from $2.4M in grants

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council has made a substantial investment in the future of Yonkers – to the tune of more than $2.4 million in grant money.

The funding, announced last week, will support five projects. It does not include $490,000 in funding awarded last week directly to the City of Yonkers in support of two other grant applications – for the improvement of the downtown waterfront esplanade and the creation of an urban heritage waterfront sculpture.

“Combined with $1 billion of private investment in Yonkers, this funding proves that economic development, job creation and investment are back on track,” Mayor Mike Spano said.

The $2,444,168 doled out by the council will fund these projects:

SoYo Mixed-Use Development ($1,250,000) – SoYo Exalta, LLC will construct a mixed-use transit-oriented development at Larkin Plaza, nearly a full square block in the center of downtown Yonkers adjacent to Van der Donck Park and near the Yonkers Train Station. Plans call for 25-story and 17-story residential unit towers and 40,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

Yonkers Carpet Mills Arts District Revitalization Project ($500,000) – R.J. Rose Realty, LLC will make critical improvements to the former Alexander Smith Carpet Mills site, which will become a working arts and technology hub.

Yonkers Rail Trail Phase One Capital Construction ($394,280) – Groundwork Hudson Valley will build Phase 1 of a 2-mile rail trail, stretching from the Downtown Yonkers Waterfront to the 242nd Street subway station in Riverdale. This segment will feature a new park and play area along the trail.

Greyston Bakery Capital Improvements ($200,000) – The bakery will upgrade equipment used in its Yonkers facility, including its environmental control and electrical systems.

Production Training ($99,888) – Greyston Foundation Inc. of Yonkers will train 75 workers.

“I am extremely pleased that Yonkers projects were so successful in the grants awarded by the New York State Regional Economic Development Council/Upstate Revitalization Initiative competition,” State Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer said. “Clearly, the Council recognized the great work happening in Yonkers and awarded a significant public investment in our community.”

Added State Assemblyman Gary Pretlow: “These projects will mean good-paying construction and permanent jobs in Yonkers. I join Mayor Spano and my colleagues in the State Legislature in thanking the Regional Council for their continued support of job creation and economic development in Yonkers.”

Grants totaling $490K earmarked for 2 City of Yonkers projects

Mayor Mike Spano and other Yonkers leaders aren’t the only believers in the revitalization of the city’s waterfront.

So, too, are the members of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council.

The Council last week awarded $490,000 in funding to the City of Yonkers in response to a pair of grant applications aimed at sprucing up the waterfront area.

“I’m pleased that key projects I support in Yonkers will be getting the resources they requested in this highly competitive process,” State Senator and Yonkers resident Andrea Stewart-Cousins said.

The grants will cover the following:

  • Expansion and enhancement of the downtown waterfront esplanade. Two waterfront walkways, as well as recreational trails, will be developed near the Yonkers train station. ($400,000)
  • Creation of an urban heritage waterfront sculpture, part of the Enslaved Africans’ Rain Garden initiative developed by local African-American artist Vinnie Bagwell (pictured; photo courtesy of wcalvinanderson.com). The City of Yonkers, ArtsWestchester and the Yonkers Board of Education will collaborate with Bagwell on the project. ($90,000)

“I’d like to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo and our State Delegation for these latest awards and their continued support as we work to further grow our city, improve our economy and position Yonkers as the best city in which to live, work and play,” Spano said.