Though relatively small, with 5.5 square miles and a population just under 25,000, Peekskill offers large appeal for residents and businesses enamored with its riverfront location and high quality of life. The city is just an hour’s train ride from Grand Central Station and is conveniently located at the crossroads of both east/west and north/south state highways – Routes 9, 6, 202 and 35.
Two Fortune 500 companies have facilities in Peekskill, BASF Corporation and Waste Management, which is known locally as Wheelabrator Westchester. The two companies combined have nearly 100 employees, while Peekskill’s largest employer, with 450 workers, is White Plains Linen. Hudson River HealthCare employs 200, West Ledge Healthcare Facility employs 150, and still more health care jobs can be found just outside Peekskill proper at Hudson Valley Hospital in Cortlandt Manor.
In recent years, old industrial buildings have been transformed into lofts while the riverfront has been the site of new condominium development. A vibrant arts community revolves around the 11-year-old Peekskill Art Lofts Co-op, which provides 28 affordable live-work spaces for the pursuit of fine, design, graphic, musical, literary, computer or performing arts. Another highlight is the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (HVCCA), touted in the New York Times as “the most dynamic contemporary art site in Westchester.” HVCCA operates a 12,000-square-foot exhibition space and is a key sponsor of the Peekskill Project, an annual, city-wide exhibition of site-specific artwork. A growing restaurant scene also adds to the cultural attraction of the area.
Peekskill Landing Park, which was under construction for much of 2012, is a new, 4.4-acre waterfront park built on remediated industrial land. Another project, the 2.1-acre Main Street Commons, added a 21,750-square-foot commercial center on Route 6.
The City of Peekskill is turning its attention to the Central Avenue/South Water Street corridor, which is a critical link between the waterfront, the train station and downtown. The area has been rezoned to accommodate mixed-used development incorporating both retail and residential components. But city officials want to ensure the development is consistent with the historic nature of the community and sensitive to the issue of river views.
The Inn on the Hudson, a 53-room hotel that is a gateway to the downtown area (not to mention the entire Hudson Valley region), has invested more than $1 million in recent exterior and landscaping renovations. www.cityofpeekskill.com
• The Peekskill Coffee House, established in 2003, is a gathering ground for the city’s emerging artist community. The venue is often called “Peekskill’s Living Room.”
• Former New York Governor George Pataki was born in Peekskill and served as mayor from 1981 to 1984.