A reimagined urban space is on the horizon for New City as a redevelopment proposal, combining two existing lots to host a new residential tower and added retail outlets along South Main Street, gains traction. This ambitious venture follows the recent H4 New City Hamlet Zone designation, established by the Town of Clarkstown in July to promote mixed-use buildings, particularly above-grade multi-family apartment complexes along the central Main Street corridor.
A local landowner, spotting an opportunity, is keen on aligning their New City holdings with this new zoning blueprint, aiming to launch the maiden residential project in the budding New City Hamlet zone.
In a collaborative stride, representatives of Bridon Realty Co., LLC and NewCo Development LLC, owners of the current office tower and retail shopping center on 254 South Main Street, engaged with Clarkstown’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) last week. They unveiled an ambitious plan dubbed “New City Living”, envisioning a transformation of the DeCicco Market shopping center and the neighboring office tower to the south. At the heart of this proposal is the demolition of the old Bow Tie Cinema movie theater to pave the way for a six-story, 152-unit luxury apartment complex.
The 176,350 square-foot residential edifice is planned to occupy part of the current parking lot, extending the existing office building and City Diner premises on South Main Street. This development will span across two parcels from South Main Street to Route 304.
Clarkstown officials have been vocal about the escalating demand for housing, especially among millennials and empty nesters, along with a noticeable call for more affordable housing options.
New City Living, as envisioned, will be a six-story state-of-the-art residential building sporting a hotel-style concierge service, a swimming pool, among other modern amenities reminiscent of luxury facilities often found in southern states or Florida. The layout includes 71 one-bedroom and 81 two-bedroom apartments, with seven or eight earmarked as affordable housing units. The total footprint of the building is around 33,350 square feet, with a density of 13 units per acre.
To hit the desired density marker, the inclusion of affordable units is pivotal, though there’s a mild dispute between the developer and the town regarding the precise number of affordable units, with a pitch for seven instead of eight.
The project blueprint seeks to amalgamate the two parcels and subsequently subdivide them into various distinct parcels under a common proprietorship. The existing five-story, 55,000 square-foot office building is set to remain intact, alongside a line of retail stores nestled between DeCicco’s and the movie theater, a location long emptied since the pandemic-induced shutdown of the Bow Tie Cinema.
Furthermore, the proposal outlines a modern facelift for the DeCicco’s Market with an 8,500 square-foot mezzanine level, a revitalization of the “1970s-style strip stores,” and the erection of two new structures along South Main Street. These new additions include an 8,625 square-foot commercial retail building aimed at small business, office, and restaurant tenancies, along with a 2,700 square-foot restaurant or coffee shop endowed with a drive-thru.
Drive-thru establishments have gained approval under a Special Permit in the newly established H-4 Shopping Center zone, part of the broader initiative to blend residential and mixed-use projects within the existing shopping plaza footprint.
This bold initiative takes heed from the newly enacted zoning legislation as a part of Clarkstown’s freshly minted Comprehensive Plan. While the Planning Board initially advocated for doubled density and enhanced parking provisions, the Town Board maintained a more modest outlook, stressing lesser density and a focal point on senior housing in the new “New City Hamlet Center.”
Minor issues were raised by the TAC regarding rear and front yard setbacks, though these are believed to be ironed out at the Town Planning Board level. Additional scrutiny is needed concerning the accessibility for fire and emergency vehicles at the residential tower and the traffic pattern around the proposed retail structures.
Lastly, a notable financial obligation on the developer’s part is a $689,000 fee tagged as “money-in-lieu-of-land” – entailing $5,000 for each two-bedroom unit and $4,000 for each one-bedroom unit, monies designated for the town’s parks and recreation development.
With meticulous planning and concerted effort between local authorities and developers, New City is on the brink of showcasing a blend of modern living and retail experience, echoing the evolving needs and desires of its residents.