Summerfield Gardens Project Moving Slowly In Eastchester

  • Comments (13)
The location that developers have proposed to build Summerfield Gardens in Eastchester.
The location that developers have proposed to build Summerfield Gardens in Eastchester. Photo Credit: Google Maps
An artist's rendering of the proposed Summerfield Gardens housing project in Eastchester.
An artist's rendering of the proposed Summerfield Gardens housing project in Eastchester. Photo Credit: File

EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – Although it’s more than a year in the making, residents and town officials remain divided over what to do with the proposed Summerfield Gardens senior housing development in Eastchester.

Reader Results

Do You Support The Summerfield Gardens Proposal?

  • Yes.

    16%
  • No.

    70%
  • I'd like to see other proposals first.

    14%

The proposed five-story, 92 unit apartment building on Summerfield Street has been a point of consternation in town since DELV Development proposed it in 2012. Due to its massive size, it requires nearly a dozen zoning variances that include the maximum building height and number of units.

The building would be exclusively for seniors older than 55. It would replace the former Ted Hermann’s Auto Body Shop, and DEVL Development’s proposal includes an underground parking garage.

At the latest town Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, residents came out to listen as attorneys on both sides of the argument pled their cases to board members.

“It’s just silly. We aren’t some major city, we don’t need some massive building in the middle of northern Eastchester,” Maple Street resident Lori George said. “It’s been tied up so long for a reason; we don’t want it.”

On Summerfield Street, the town’s zoning code only permits buildings that are less than four stories and less than 45 feet high. The proposal remains 10 feet over the limit, with one too many floors and 46 more units than the code allows.

Northern Eastchester residents that oppose the building have noted that if the building were to be constructed as currently constituted, it would be an eyesore and would stand out above nearby buildings. Lawyers for DELV Development could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

Senior housing is a longtime coming in Eastchester. In 2009, the Planning Board passed an amendment that authorized its members to grant a special permit for the construction of senior housing that does not provide nursing care. Before that, assisted living facilities and nursing homes were not permitted in Eastchester.

“The location isn’t ideal for an older generation because there isn’t a lot of things within walking distance, and I’m not sure about where or even if they would house vehicles for everyone,” Chris Brugy said. “There’s a lot of housing in the area for elderly people, I don’t know if it’s even necessary.”

At its April 24 meeting, the Planning Board determined that the project would not have a negative impact on the environment, which passed the proposal forward to the Zoning Board of Appeals, which continued the public hearing until June 10. Lawyers representing both northern Eastchester residents and DELV Development are expected to again be in attendance.

What do you think about the proposed Summerfield Gardens proposal? Vote in our poll and continue the conversation in the comments section.

  • 13
    Comments

Comments (13)

That location is probably one of the worst areas for senior housing. Walking? You're going to ask a senior to walk up Ray Pl to shop at A&P, an incredible steep hill with no side walk. I wouldn't do it on a nice day let alone a cold winter, hot summer...oh and rain. CVS is another big hill. Good luck getting to the train station.
http://bmaxmarketing.com

I agree with Frieda. This is going to be bad for our schools and traffic.

1) 92 units filled with seniors. Many of the seniors don't work, so there will not be a mad rush of cars leaving during the morning rush hour, and arriving in the evening rush hour. This project will have ZERO impact on traffic.

2) It's senior housing. No children will be in the building. And the notion that 90 Eastchester house owners are going to pack up and move into 1-bedroom apartments, and their houses will be sold to 90 young families, is a stretch, to say the least. And this property will pay a lot of property taxes.

As far as I'm concerned, the only people I would listen to are the homeowners across the street. I have been provided with no concrete evidence that they do not want the project. Personally, I would never buy a property located directly across the street from a noisy auto-body shop. But that's my preference.

That is actually a fair statement.

Unlike the previous poster, who is worried that 90 Eastchester homeowners are going to sell their houses, move into the building, and hundreds of new kids will enter the school district. Or that the residents can't walk up the hill to the A&P (nobody walks up the hill to the A&P).

Michael - is there any speculation to how the ZBA will vote on this?

rubygreta obviously has some connection to this development as I find it hard to believe you are that disillusioned although you do contradict yourself.

First you argue about places within walking distance then you say most will drive cars. Well that's the point! We already have issues with congestion and traffic, how is another 100 plus cars going to help? We still haven't felt the effect from the Maple St. development.

I have nothing against senior housing but since when did it become Eastchester's responsibility to provide senior housing for the whole county? We already have another senior housing project for 117 units approved in Eastchester (There's your competition). Eastchester seniors are suppose to be given priority so guess who's moving into their residence when they downsize? Likely families with kids which will impact our already overcrowded and overtaxed schools.

This location is also probably one of the worst areas for senior housing. Walking? You're going to ask a senior to walk up Ray Pl to shop at A&P, an incredible steep hill with no side walk. I wouldn't do it on a nice day let alone a cold winter, hot summer...oh and rain. CVS is another big hill. Good luck getting to the train station.

Ted Hermann's auto has been there as long as I can remember and residents have been just fine. Besides they do a great job fixing cars. You want to make improvements go ahead just do it within the building code. The 11 variances needed to build this 5 story 96 unit building is a complete mockery of our building code. Why do we even have a building code?

Don't tell me this won't adversely affect our community! (BTW - the people across the street are against this project.)

It would be better at the Crestwood Station near stores and transit. And the Bronx River has paths and parkland.

I live in the north end of town and feel This will have a negative impact on out community. Even IF it remains a 55+ building. If those seniors are currently residents of Eastchester that means they will be selling their current home most likely to a family with children which means more children in the district. Our schools are already over crowded. More children in the district means a greater increase in our taxes. I personally feel that this will be a strain on the taxpayers. On the same note there is also the possibility that if it can't be filled with seniors it will be open to the public which also can potentially bring more children to the district. Again increasing our taxes. A building that size will create more traffic as well. Someone had mentioned that it was close to shopping , restaurants etc. which is true but how many seniors will be able to manage that hill ?? I work with seniors and can tell you NOT MANY. That will be a big deterrent to them. Although it is open to 55+ most people don't consider senior housing until their very late 60's early 70's when they are having difficulty climbing stairs and Transferring in and out of the tub shower. So that hill is going to be an issue for many of them. I hope that the community will realize these major points and raise others at the next hearing on June 10th.

1) The units will be marketed all over Westchester County. The percentage of the renters who are empty-nesters selling their houses in the Eastchester School District will be relatively small. And if they didn't move here they would have eventually moved somewhere else.

2) Westchester has almost 1 million people. The notion that the developer cannot find enough people age 55 and up is preposterous. Where is the competition? This is an incredibly hot rental market.

3) Manage the hill? Most of the residents will have cars. People drive well into their 80's.

4) This building will pay a nice hunk of town and school taxes, without resulting in any increased costs to the town.

5) It replaces on of the most disgusting eyesores in Eastchester.

Summerfield Gardens could be a terrible move for Eastchester.

They are selling this project as senior housing, but once it is built and with time it could be converted to some other type of housing which could be disastrous to our town.

Makes no sense whatsoever. If this project passes then our town is run by crooks.

Are you implying that the members of the Zoning Board who voted for this were paid off? Do you really believe this?

And in this area, they could fill this building in 6 months. It's a RENTAL. It's for people who are 55 and up, not 80 and up. Do you know how many empty nesters there are who would like to downsize and stay in the area, without buying a condo or a coop?

The senior housing that bombs out are over-priced condos, like the Trump thing in Yorktown Heights.

If the Ted Hermann site was a well-kept property, I would say no. But we have to get rid of this eyesore. And to get rid of it, you have to provide concessions.

I undertand your concern, but there are other ways to improve our town without building a massive structure with underground parking. If you are worry about aesthetics and property value, building this monstrosity is not the answer. Don't take my word for it, speak to a real estate agent.

Please get familiar with the project and read what the developers are proposing. The developers could potentially change this development into residential units.

Do you know what that could do to our town, schools and property values?

It hurts to say this as a resident but our Zoning Board is not known for its "transparency".

Once again, I understand your point of view but learn a bit more about the project. You may change your mind.

All the best.

I live in Green Knolls, which is pretty close by. How does this adversely impact my property value? Driving by it on Brook Street is not a big deal.

You say the developers could potentially change this development into residential units. I don't understand. These are residential units.

How do the property owners who live directly across the street from Ted Herman's feel about this? They are really the only ones that matter. If they were adamantly against it, I would also be against it.

It's a hell of a lot better than what's there now.

The only poll I really care about is a poll of the homeowners in the townhouses that live directly across the street from Ted Hermann's eyesore. If I lived there, I would be begging that this proposed building be developed.

Not enough things within walking distance? Are you kidding? There are several barbers/hair salons, a deli, a dry cleaner, a restaurant/pizza place, a small drug store, a CVS, and a Yoga studio, among other businesses, that are within walking distance. Much better than most suburban locations for senior housing.