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April 2019

Development of former GM site, Edge-on-Hudson, progress

By Site development
  • The first townhouses are taking shape on the old GM site.
  • Nelson Byrd Woltz’s work will include a public waterfront promenade.

Editor’s Note: We don’t want to leave you hanging. “What’s New” is designed to update our previous coverage and keep you up to date with important projects around the Lower Hudson Valley.

PROJECT: Edge-on-Hudson, a major mixed-use development, aims to build a new waterfront community, comprising 1,177 residential units, a 140-room boutique hotel, 135,000 square feet of retail space, 35,000 feet squares of office space and parks. Toll Brothers is in charge of building the first 15-acre phase of the 70-acre development.

SITE: The former General Motors assembly plant site at 199 Beekman Ave., Sleepy Hollow. The site is located along the Metro-North Railroad Hudson line, between Tarrytown and Philipse Manor stations.

RECENT NEWS: Leading Edge-on-Hudson developers – SunCal in California and Diversified Realty Advisors in New Jersey – recently retained landscape architects Nelson Byrd Woltz to design the parks and walkways in Edge-on-Hudson, including including a public waterfront promenade that will link the Westchester RiverWalk to the south of the property to the historic lighthouse and Kingsland Point Park to the north.

Nelson Byrd Woltz is the lead designer of the Plaza and Gardens of Hudson Yards, a $ 25 billion mixed-use development in Manhattan.

“We’re committed to building a world-class community in Edge-on-Hudson, and that requires top talent,” David Soyka, senior vice president of SunCal, said of the landscape architecture firm.

Townhouses began to take shape on the former General Motors assembly plant site.

In addition to Hudson Yards, Nelson Byrd Woltz is involved in projects such as the Rothko Chapel in Houston and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.

FOLLOWING: The first set of luxury townhouses, known as the Toll Brothers Brownstones Collection, are currently under construction. Once they are completed, potential buyers can take a tour of the model units. Meanwhile, visitors can get a feel for the project through a 360-degree virtual reality tour available at an on-site sales gallery. In addition to 72 luxury townhouses, 46 condominiums and 188 rental apartments will be built in the first phase.

PRICE POINTS: Townhouses, ranging from 2,400 square feet to over 3,000 square feet, will cost around $ 1.2 million and more, according to Toll Brothers.

Follow Akiko Matsuda on Twitter: @AskAkiko, on Instagram: @amatsudanyc, on Facebook: @AkikoJournalist.

EDGE-ON-HUDSON: Townhouse sales begin development at former GM site

PHASE ONE: Toll Brothers to build homes at GM site

REVITALIZATION: Sleepy Hollow Explores Edge-on-Hudson as an Actor of Change

The development of the Ford site: high-end houses have a place and a role

By Site development

Some St. Paul residents, grieved by the affordable housing shortage, have expressed concern over plans by site developer Ford to allocate sites along the cliffs of the Mississippi River for upscale single-family residences (“planners of St. Paul Reject Single Family Homes in Project Ford, ”March 9,“ Ryan’s Plan for Ford Site Moves 6 to 1 by St. Paul Council, ”April 11).

But 10 percent of the 3,800 housing units offered for the Ford site must be reserved for households at 80 percent or less of the region’s median income, with 10 percent for households at 30 percent or less of the median income in the area. the region. The city had approved a tax increase financial grant to include low-cost housing in the overall plan.

But there is another aspect of the bluff site plans that aligns with both the developer’s financial outlook as well as the city’s tax agenda. In any given year, Saint Paul’s property tax collections represent approximately 35 percent of the city’s general revenue. Much of the city’s real estate is owned by the state or by non-profit organizations (colleges, churches, etc.). These properties do not pay property taxes but still require services. The city’s other income comes from royalties, fines, sales, etc., but the share of property tax in the city’s budget is under constant pressure.

Minneapolis receives about 41 percent of the property taxes paid by residential and commercial-industrial property in the city. The rest goes to the county, school district, and special districts (e.g., metropolitan council, mosquito control district, etc.).

Because Minnesota law limits how cities can generate income, they must plan for and protect certain land uses that generate more tax revenue than costs to provide municipal services to affected properties. The difference is used to subsidize neighborhoods that require more services than they can afford.

Minneapolis and St. Paul are unusual among industrial cities in 19th-century Northeastern America for their relative abundance of desirable residential neighborhoods within city limits. These neighborhoods have attracted and retained middle and upper-middle class households who have sufficient financial means to settle in the suburbs if they so wish. This has happened regularly in most cities in the North East, which face serious fiscal headaches.

In addition, cities like St. Paul and Minneapolis that have supported and preserved prosperous neighborhoods have simultaneously retained commercial and office activities that serve those neighborhoods. When purchasing power goes away, neighboring businesses fall back or move.

In Minneapolis, there are hundreds of upscale homes in the city’s Chain of Lakes neighborhood, along Minnehaha Parkway, near Lake Nokomis and Lake Hiawatha, and along West River Road, homes that have been well maintained and reinvested over the years to make them even more attractive today than they were a century ago, with market values ​​to match. The same is true in St. Paul, along East River Road, Summit Avenue, Crocus Hill and Linwood, Merriam Park, some of Ramsey Hill, Mac-Groveland and Highland Park.

Between 2010 and 2017, the population of Minneapolis increased by 10% and that of Saint-Paul by almost 8%. These cities must be doing something right.

I live in southwest Minneapolis, south of Lake Harriet. Near my house is a block bounded on the west by Thomas Avenue, on the north by W. Lake Harriet Parkway, on the east by Sheridan Avenue, and on the south by W. 49th St. This block contains 27 single family homes with a combined current assessed value (market) of $ 26,763,500 and total taxes due in 2019 of $ 442,463, or an average of $ 16,875 per home.

In contrast, a somewhat typical block in a low-income residential neighborhood in northern Minneapolis, bounded by Logan Avenue, 16th Avenue N., Morgan Avenue N., and 15th Avenue N. contains 15 homes. A house, owned by the Minneapolis Housing Authority, is exempt from property tax. The 14 homes for which the appraiser’s market value and tax liability data are available have a combined value of $ 1,875,600 and property taxes due in 2019 of $ 28,265, or $ 2,019 per home.

Most of my neighbors can afford to move elsewhere if they wish. But they stay where they are and continue to pay high taxes. The rest of the city benefits.

Bottom Line: A few high end homes along the river cliff at the west end of the Ford site would likely yield a positive bottom line for the town of St. Paul.

John S. Adams is Professor Emeritus of Geography, Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.