The Real Deal New York

Westchester & Fairfield Cheat Sheet: Developer plans multifamily conversion for White Plains YMCA … & more

By Maya Rajamani | October 03, 2018 07:00PM

Clockwise from top left: Eastchester building’s super and landlord discriminated against black renters, suit says (credit: Anthony22), Nashville-based developer in contract to buy White Plains YMCA, White Plains building aimed at millennials won’t include parking spaces, and Fairfield County is facing an affordable housing ‘crisis,’ officials say.

Nashville-based developer plans multifamily conversion for White Plains YMCA
In April, the YMCA of Central and Northern Westchester said it was planning to sell its building in White Plains. Now, Nashville-based developer Southern Land Company is in contract to purchase it, LoHud reported. The property on Mamaroneck Avenue was assessed at $27 million, according to the outlet. Southern Land won’t actually close on the property until next year, according to its senior vice president Dustin Downey, but it eventually plans to build “a mixed-use, multifamily building” on the 1.16-acre property. “Our goal is to keep the ‘Y’ open and keep the affordable housing there in place until we hopefully begin construction late next year,” Downey told the outlet. The YMCA decided to sell the building because it was in poor condition and cost too much to maintain. [LoHud]

Suit claims Eastchester building’s super and landlord discriminated against black renters
An Eastchester building’s landlord and superintendent tried to keep black tenants from renting out units by giving them false information, a new lawsuit charges. The Fair Housing Justice Center in New York City and three black people who posed as prospective tenants filed the suit after they and other “testers” went to the building at 9 New Street over the course of three months, LoHud reported. According to the suit, the building’s superintendent encouraged the white testers by giving them his phone number and rental applications and “encourag[ing] them to return the paperwork to him,” but told black testers that “there was a waiting list for units, that they had to get an application from a broker, and, in some cases, didn’t give his phone number,” the outlet reported. The center’s executive director Fred Freiberg said that building’s practices “are, sadly, not that uncommon.” The building’s owner, New Property Associates, has an ownership stake in “hundreds of rental units” in Westchester County and Long Island, according to the suit. [LoHud]

White Plains rental building targeting millennials won’t include parking spaces
A developer with plans to build an 18-unit apartment building in White Plains is banking on the tenants being millennials who don’t need a place to park. Sackman Enterprises recently snapped up a vacant building on East Post Road and wants to add three stories of residential space to the top, but isn’t including parking in its plan, LoHud reported. That concerned some members of the White Plains Planning Board, according to the outlet, but Sackman Enterprises’ attorney Jane Giris explained that the planned apartments are “generally occupied by millennials.” “Millennials don’t have cars, as a practical matter,” she said. “They’re big users of Uber and Zipcars.” Monthly rent for the apartments will likely be between $1,700 and $1,900, and the ground floor of the finished building will house a restaurant. [LoHud]

Fairfield County is facing an affordable housing ‘crisis,’ officials say
Fairfield County is facing an affordable housing crunch that’s pushing its officials to find solutions, the Connecticut Post reported. Carol Martin, the executive director of the town of Fairfield’s housing authority told the outlet that the “lack of affordable housing in Fairfield County is at a crisis level of need.” Fairfield’s housing authority and its affiliates have “three separate wait lists for its affordable and rental assistance program,” with an average wait of six to eight years, according to the outlet. Fairfield is working to mitigate the problem via inclusionary zoning regulation, a housing trust fund and other efforts, but “the need and demand outweighs the supply at this time,” Fairfield’s director of economic development Mark Barnhart said. [CTPost]

New Canaan mulling creation of “Blight Committee” to handle reports of neglected properties
New Canaan residents who have complaints about blighted properties may soon be able to file them with a Blight Committee, New Canaanite reported. The town’s chief building official Brian Platz proposed the committee earlier this week, saying it would allow the town to better address complaints on a case-by-case basis. “I think that if [town residents] were to be, for want of a better word, ‘judged’ on the condition of their property, it may be better received by a jury of their peers rather than a building inspector who is an enforcement agent of the town,” Platz said, according to the outlet. The committee would be able to coordinate with the town’s nonprofits in situations where a home “has fallen by the wayside” due to a personal issue like a death in the family, one town official suggested. [New Canaanite]

Gala Foods will be anchor tenant in new retail plaza planned for Bridgeport
A new retail plaza in Bridgeport will be anchored by a Gala Foods, the Fairfield County Business Journal reported. The Stratford Avenue development known as Civic Block will be 35,000 square feet and will also house a medical office, a pharmacy, a laundromat and a hair salon, according to the outlet. Construction is slated to start in the spring, and the plaza is expected to open by early 2020. The Civic Block Gala Foods will be the third Gala Foods in Bridgeport, but the first grocery store in Bridgeport’s East End neighborhood in decades, Mayor Joe Ganim said. “It has been over 40 years since the East End has had a grocery store in their neighborhood,” he said. “This project will be outstanding, and it will mark the rebirth of this part of our city.” [FBJ]