• Big Buzz: Yonkers Attracting New Construction, Housing, Hotels, and More

  • AUGUST 04, 2014 | ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

  • Westchester County’s Largest City Woos Young Professionals

  • Do a Google search for “Yonkers development,” and you’ll see pages and pages of results featuring phrases like “smart development,” “new construction,” and “transformation.” Articles on Yonkers’ growth are popping up everywhere—and there are plenty of reasons to believe the hype, starting with the recent ribbon cutting at the Library Lofts, a multi-million dollar mixed-use redevelopment project of the Yonkers Library. The mixed-use project includes 23 new luxury loft apartments, complete with modern touches and amenities, and 9,000 square feet of street-level retail space... 


    Of course, where there’s activity, there are young professionals, and Yonkers is wooing them. According to various real estate brokers, who cite as main reasons the city’s affordability and accessibility to New York City, Yonkers has available apartments at the waterfront and elsewhere in the city. “These are key components in designing spaces and places to attract the next generation of talent,” said Marissa Brett, President of the Westchester County Association, and head of the organization’s BLUEPRINT for Westchester, an aggressive marketing campaign to accelerate economic vitality in the county.

    “The City of Yonkers offers not only easy commuting time to New York City, but has its own great places to work,” said Brett. “There are also great local restaurants, after-work recreation, a burgeoning arts community, and a growing entrepreneurial scene. Yonkers is ripe with opportunity.”

    A number of new developments are being planned:

    • The Longfellow School, vacant since 1978, will be razed and replaced with 59 units of affordable housing. 
    • Grant Park II, a 56-unit affordable housing project expected to be complete in 2015, broke ground last month
    • Three new hotels have potential to bring new business travelers and visitors to Yonkers. Construction is expected to start this year on a Courtyard Marriott Hotel, with an estimated 250 construction jobs and 50 permanent jobs created by the project, and a new Hyatt Place Hotel broke ground this year and is expected to be completed in 2015. A 150-room Hampton Inn & Suites is also proposed.
    • Renovations and redevelopment are ongoing at the former Glenwood Power Plant, where environmental remediation is taking place prior to The Goren Group's transformation of the four-acre site into an arts and recreation destination. Eventually, the complex will include a hotel, restaurants and convention space.
    • The Goren Group also purchased Alder Manor in Yonkers, with plans to renovate the 72-room mansion as a boutique hotel with spa and marina.

    But that’s not all. The city is full of business relocation and expansion activity, such as Fast Linen moving the headquarters of its laundry business from the Bronx to Yonkers; Oz Moving and Storage will consolidate its business in a move that brings 150 jobs to the city; Kawasaki Rail Car recently committed to Yonkers for another five years, keeping 375 jobs in the city; and on the horizon, plans are underway to transform the former Yonkers City Jail into an art museum, studio, and gallery, plus, Yonkers could see another commercial development at its “Chicken Island” downtown site, bringing mixed-use development that could include a baseball stadium.

    Seeing the city as a backdrop in several film and television shows also enhances the hip factor. Yonkers serves as a location for television shows like Boardwalk Empire, The Blacklist, and The Following and feature films as Winter’s Tale, Mona Lisa Smile, and Doubt. Last year, the first annual Yonkers Film Festival was held at the Riverfront Library.

    “There’s little doubt that something special is happening in Yonkers,” added Brett. “Established businesses are staying, new businesses are arriving, and shopping areas like Ridge Hill are thriving,” she said. “The waterfront area has new life, and we’re thrilled to see one of the WCA’s BLUEPRINT Accelerator Network companies opening its retail microbrewery there. Our mission is to help create communities where people can Work.Live.Play.—and Yonkers is a prime example of that.”

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