Transformed from a city of neighborhoods into a burgeoning center of regional commerce, Mount Vernon experienced economic growth that eclipsed 20 percent between 2000 and 2006, making it one of the fastest-growing cities in the metropolitan area of New York.
With its prime location so close to New York City – it’s an NYC “inner ring suburb” bordering The Bronx – Mount Vernon continues to attract homeowners looking to improve older properties as well take advantage of convenient, new residential development, particularly in the North Side. The city – with its population of 67,000 – remains committed to encouraging high-wage, private-sector employment with a coordination of effort among the city, private enterprise and the banking community. The establishment and support of small businesses, including micro-businesses, remains a priority.
In 2011, the city hired a consulting firm to explore ways to undertake a citywide demographic, market and development study. The study recommended establishing a framework for supporting new development near its transportation assets. (Mount Vernon is home to three Metro-North rail stations that put Midtown Manhattan, Downtown White Plains and Downtown Stamford, Conn., within a 30-minute express trip.) The study also noted that because Mount Vernon is one of the most densely populated cities in the country, there is significant local market demand. Mount Vernon already has an established commercial corridor in Mount Vernon Heights, encompassing Sandford Square and Sandford Boulevard (6th Street).
Mount Vernon’s four major districts -– North Side, South Side, Downtown and Mount Vernon Heights -– together constitute a 4.4-square-mile area known for its richness of diversity. The second most densely populated city in New York State, Mount Vernon has the largest West Indian and West African population in Westchester County, and an active Brazilian community has poured millions of dollars into the economy with the building of new homes and businesses. Popular ethnic celebrations are held throughout the year.
The city has 241 acres of parks, playgrounds and open space either owned by Westchester County or the city.
Mount Vernon’s chief employer is the city school system, which consists of 16 schools where more than 700 teachers work with some 10,000 students.
Mount Vernon Hospital, which treats 25,000 patients a year, is another top employer. An affiliate of the Sound Shore Health System, Mount Vernon Hospital has been named a Gold Performance Achievement Award-winner by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. The 115-year-old hospital is in the midst of a revitalization that will strengthen and expand the services that are in demand, including both primary care and specialty clinics, as well as its emergency room. www.cmvny.com
• The city’s expansive network of mass transit options allows every resident to be within a seven- to 10-minute walk of a bus, subway or train line.
• NBA star Ben Gordon, who grew up in the South Side district, has dedicated two playgrounds to the city.