Is Mount Vernon the Next Urban Hotspot?

Developers are making big bets on Mount Vernon becoming Westchester’s next hotbed for urban living.

With four different developers currently putting forth major housing plans there, the Southern Westchester city of Mount Vernon may just be the next big story in urban living. Don’t believe the hype? You would had you been at last week’s press conference where Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas revealed details on the four projects currently being pitched, totaling more than $300 million. The projects — being proposed by The Alexander Group/Bluestone, Direct Investment Development, Enclave Equities, and Simone Development Companies — include market-rate and upper-income housing for artists, Millennials, and seniors.

Not surprisingly, these developments are all transit-oriented, situated near Mount Vernon’s three Metro-North stations, two MTA subway lines, and six nearby highways. They are slated to break ground within the coming weeks or months.

Qwest Development

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At the event, Mayor Thomas referenced Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent $2.5 billion housing package (which was signed on May 18) to attract investment statewide in more market-rate housing. “I’m proud to be here at this moment where we get to translate a lot of talk into action, and we get to be one of the first municipalities, one of the first cities in all of New York, to be able to implement Governor Cuomo’s major housing bill,” he explained, while holding the pen Cuomo recently used to sign the legislation.

Thomas also touted the importance of these types of developments for the greater cause of revitalization in Mount Vernon. The city’s downtown, long known more for decline than development, should get a key boost from the expected influx of new residents, Thomas explained.

Here, some details on the four development proposals:

• The Alexander Group/Bluestone Group, led by Mark Alexander, is bringing a $90 million, 16-story mixed-use retail and luxury development with 249 market-rate units to 42 Broad St. It will create 80 permanent jobs and generate $5.7 million annually in new spending, as well as $2 million in new tax revenue for the city and school district. It is within walking distance to the city’s Fleetwood Metro-North station.

• Direct Investment Development, led by Carlton Brown, a leader in the economic redevelopment of Harlem, is bringing his first building project to Mount Vernon. Library Square will be a $125 million, upper to middle-income residential development downtown near the Mount Vernon East Metro-North station. It will include 320 units and 96 units set aside for the “creative class.”

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• Enclave Equities is building a $48 million, market-rate project at 525 and 645 MacQuestern Parkway in the Fleetwood section of the city. It will consist of a cluster of five, five-story apartment buildings with 179 units, designed to target Millennials. 

• Simone Development Companies, led by Joe Simone, is credited for helping to bring about the recent resurgence in the Bronx, is building the Qwest Development, a 140-unit residential project at 7 & 11 MacQuesten Parkway, next to the MTA Harlem line and the city’s Metro-North’s Mount Vernon West station. The first project to be developed under Mount Vernon’s new zoning code, developers will be able to receive permits in less than 45 days.


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