Rolling on the River

Once lost to industry, the Hudson River waterfront has been discovered by developers and environmentalists.


As the residents of his eponymous valley celebrate the 400th anniversary of his discovery of the river, we wonder if Hendrick Hudson ever could have imagined how our 49 mile stretch of riverfront would evolve. Here, we look slightly ahead, by just another decade, to see what the dozen rivertowns have in store for their segments of the Hudson between now and 2020.

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Cortlandt Nothing definite planned—yet—but the town is working on implementing a master plan, adopted in 2004, that calls for a series of zoning changes to encourage more public access while limiting industrial uses. “We want to establish appropriate uses, like boat and watercraft sales, gift shops, art galleries, a marina, restaurants, a bed and breakfast, and to expand our trail system close to the water,” says Edward Vergano, Director of Cortlandt’s Department of Technical Services.

Peekskill “On the west side of our railroad tracks, we’re developing a four-acre park along our northern waterfront,” says Director of Planning Anthony Ruggiero. “Then, we’re doing a master plan for everything south of that, from our riverfront green all the way down to Buchanan, which will include better pedestrian access, and rehabilitation of the Lincoln Depot, where President Lincoln stopped to give a speech on his way to Washington, and we’re waiting for final approvals for a developer to build a Holiday Inn along John Walsh Boulevard.”

Croton-on-Hudson “Most of our waterfront is park already,” says Assistant Village Manager Janine King. Still, the town is completing a project, in conjunction with Westchester County, to expand its RiverWalk trail. In addition, it has a $3 million project to improve Croton Landing Park with major renovations to its existing trails, paths, and fencing, and to make it handicapped-accessible.

Ossining The town has approved 150 one-, two-, and three-bedroom units for Harbor Square, an upscale seven-story condominium community co-developed by Martin Ginsburg’s GDC Homes and Louis Cappelli’s Cappelli Enterprises. It is also hoping to get “a really nice restaurant” to anchor the complex, Director of Planning Valerie Monastra says.

Briarcliff Manor The village has formed a committee to examine ways to improve its waterfront Scarborough Park.

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Sleepy Hollow Plans for redeveloping the now-dormant former General Motors site are temporarily on hold, according to Village Administrator Anthony Giaccio. The developer has proposed a mixed-used project, including residential units, commercial space, a hotel, a pier, a marina, and parkland for the 97-acre site. Meanwhile, another developer wants to purchase the 1.6 acre Castle Oil property, and convert it to a six-story mixed-use development. “They’re proposing to build a sixty-unit condominium complex with about two-thousand square feet of retail space,” says Giaccio. “The project would link the County’s RiverWalk from Tarrytown to Sleepy Hollow, and will have a fishing pier.”

Tarrytown Under construction is Hudson Harbor, a new mixed-use complex comprising 238 town homes and condominiums, a clubhouse, 12,000 square feet of retail space, a recreation center, waterfront park, and Tarrytown’s section of the county’s RiverWalk, all spanning 28 acres of prime riverfront property. All of the residences are “green,” utilizing state-of-the-art technology, from Energy Star appliances and geothermal heating and cooling to NuWool insulation made from recycled newspaper.

Hastings-on-Hudson “We have a few parks along the river now, but we’re looking at the development of two major plans for the waterfront,” says Hastings former Mayor Wm. Lee Kinnally. “Two committees are looking at the projects now. They will set the template of where the planning will go from there. The old Anaconda site still has to be cleaned up first—it has the largest concentration of PCBs in the state. The DEC [Department of Environment Conservation] has been working to come up with a clean-up plan for both on-land and in-river to clean up the property.”

Yonkers Already in the throes of an ambitious waterfront redevelopment plan, the city has much more up its sleeve. The largest redevelopment project in the city’s history, a $3 billion overhaul of the city’s downtown planned over the next three years, includes some key Hudson riverside components. River Park Center, a two million-plus square-foot, mixed-use complex, as well as a new 6,500-seat minor league baseball ballpark; Palisades Point, two 25-story residential buildings with approximately 10,000 square feet of retail/restaurant/office space on the ground floors, with a riverfront esplanade and spectacular views of the Palisades; and along its northern waterfront will be Point Street Landing, a $900 million project that calls for a network of apartment towers, stores, and public parks that will span a 16-acre site between the Metro-North rail tracks and the Hudson River. It will include more than 1,000 housing units, 40,000 square feet of retail space, and 50,000 square feet of office space contained in six buildings ranging from 12 to 26 stories, bordered by more than two acres of new parkland.

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