The Real Deal New York

Transit-oriented communities underway upstate

January 27, 2012 01:30PM

It’s been a long time since upstate New York developers placed proximity to train stations on the top of their lists of priorities for new projects, but, with train ridership on the rise, that may be changing, the New York Times reported.

In fact, Metro-North’s real estate arm is reportedly planning various transit-oriented communities in Mount Vernon, Harrison and Poughkeepsie, while two private organizations are building two similar developments on an even larger scale.

A mixed-use project named Dover Knolls is currently under construction across Route 22 from the Harlem Valley-Wingdale train station, the Times said, while another is planned for a 130-acre site adjacent to the Harriman Metro-North station.

These developments present very particular challenges, observed Mark Strauss, a senior partner of FxFowle, which has worked on similar projects for public agencies. People want to be close to the train station, but still feel as though they are in the countryside.

“The idea is to densify areas around mass transit and get people out of their cars,” Strauss said. “But in Westchester and other places, the mindset of many residents is that they moved to the suburbs to get away from an urban environment, and they want their towns to remain as much as possible like life was on the TV show ‘Leave It to Beaver.’” [NYT]