Contractor Scam, Mount Vernon Construction Projects Move Forward, and L&T Signs on to Ridge Hill

House of the Week!

Annual Taxes: $83,470
Mount Kisco Colonial
82 Old Roaring Brook Rd

A long, gated driveway meanders past a pond to this idyllic country estate on 40 super-serene acres. The two-story, 31-year-old Colonial features a center-hall entrance; five bedrooms; four baths; fireplaces in the living room and the master suite, family room, and sunroom; a formal dining room; a country kitchen; maid’s quarters; a gym; and wine cellar. The property also includes walking trails, fabulous landscaping including terraced gardens, tennis courts, a pool, an outdoor kitchen, and a guest cottage. Contact Camille C. Branca at Ginnel Real Estate in Bedford Hills (914-234-9234) for more on this listing.

Homeowners Beware!

That’s the word in recent weeks from police in towns like Bedford, North Castle, and Mount Pleasant. They’re telling homeowners to be careful of scam contractors who lure their prey—often the unsuspecting elderly—outside to discuss renovations while sending an accomplice inside to case the joint. The bandits have reportedly robbed a number of Northern Westchester communities.

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The situation is so serious in North Castle that police there have issued a community alert. In one case, according to police reports, a man knocked on a homeowner’s door and asked her to come outside to look at a fence he was installing for her neighbor. And guess what? His sidekick entered the house and left with cash and jewelry. Then, according to police, the would-be contractor made a phone call and was picked up by a third party to the crime.

The county has a very effective consumer protection bureau, and if you have any questions or need assistance, call them right away at (914) 995-2155.

Just in case you’re not aware of it, Westchester law requires that home-improvement contractors have a county license. Such a list is maintained by the Westchester County Department of Consumer Protection, which also has a list of renegade renovators.

More Rooms at the Inn

The Hampton Inn White Plains/Tarrytown has completed a $5.4 million renovation, adding 156 guest rooms to the property. The lobby, fitness center, coffee area, business center, and guest rooms have been upgraded with new furniture, bedding, Wi-Fi, and 37 flat-screen TVs. Consequently, there’s been a 20-percent increase in reservations, according to sources at the inn in Elmsford

Mount Vernon Spruces Up

Westchester County Court Judge Susan Cacace has ruled against three Mount Vernon residents who wanted to stop construction by the Atlantic Development Group’s of three residential towers south of Hartley Park. “Sorry,” said the judge to Frank DeLeonardis, one of the city residents who filed the suit, and his fellow plaintiffs.

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Atlantic Development Group introduced the three-phase proposal to Mount Vernon city officials almost two years ago, and Mayor Clinton I. Young and his administration view it as a critical part of their revitalization plan for the downtown. According Cacace, the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed, so why not let Mount Vernon have a shot at joining Yonkers, White Plains, and New Rochelle in efforts to build a better city? It’s not a great economy, and that alone will slow things down, but Mount Vernon is a centrally located municipality with lots of grand old architecture. It, too, deserves an opportunity to rebuild its image.

Smart Growth in Yonkers: Lure New Tenants With a Lord & Taylor!

The $650 million retail-residential complex at Westchester’s Ridge Hill is inching closer to its opening, thanks in large part to the promise of shopping galore. A condominium tower offering sweeping views of lower Westchester and beyond is one thing; but a Whole Foods Market and a National Amusements cinema are something else altogether. Add to that news this month that a fave hangout of shopaholics—Lord & Taylor—announced that it will open an 80,000-square-foot store there too in 2012.

The plan for Ridge Hill is a 12-block community with 500 residences, a village green, office buildings, and shopping and entertainment all in a conveniently located, 1.3-million-square-foot block between the New York State Thruway and the Sprain Brook Parkway.

Even though the beloved Lord & Taylor already has a store in Eastchester just a few miles from Ridge Hill, retail officials said in a recent statement that there’s more than enough buying power in Southern Westchester for another.

Sales of condos there are expected to benefit. And, speaking of bargains, the developer is offering pre-construction prices. Time to line up? In addition to Lord & Taylor, the complex is shaping up with Sephora, Cinema De Lux and Whole Foods.

Our Best of Westchester Party is July 24!

Our Westchester Home Design Awards event is June 26!

Our Wine & Food Festival returns June 4-9!

Our Wunderkinds event takes place on May 23!

Our Best of Business Ballot is open through May 15!

Our Healthcare Heroes Awards event takes place on May 9!

Our Westchester Home Builders Awards take place on April 4!

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Unveiled: A Boutique Bridal Brunch is February 25!

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