Rockland County Business Journal https://rcbizjournal.com Covering Rockland Business 24/7 Mon, 08 Mar 2021 13:55:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.6 https://rcbizjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/cropped-Favicon-32x32.png Rockland County Business Journal https://rcbizjournal.com 32 32 Palisades Center Will Likely See Disney Store Shutter Permanently https://rcbizjournal.com/2021/03/08/palisades-center-will-likely-see-disney-store-shutter-permanently/ Mon, 08 Mar 2021 13:54:24 +0000 https://rcbizjournal.com/?p=5742 It is unclear as to whether the Palisades Center Disney Store will be affected by Disney’s intention to close at least 60 of its 300 stores worldwide but sources close to the mall say the temporarily-closed store is unlikely to reopen.

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Disney Plans To Shutter At Least 60 Of Its 300 Stores Worldwide

RETAIL NEWS

The Disney Store, once a mall staple, plans to reduce its locations in the U.S. and Canada.

It is unclear as to whether the Palisades Center Disney Store will be affected by Disney’s intention to close at least 60 of its 300 stores worldwide but sources close to the mall say the temporarily-closed store is unlikely to reopen.

Nearly 35 percent of the store closings will be in American locations.

Disney had nearly 800 locations globally at its peak in 1999.

Like so many retailers, Disney intends to put more emphasis on its e-commerce business rather than its brick-and-mortar footprint.

“While consumer behavior has shifted toward online shopping, the global pandemic has changed what consumers expect from a retailer,” said Stephanie Young, president of Disney’s consumer products, games and publishing unit, in a press release.

“Over the past few years, we’ve been focused on meeting consumers where they are already spending their time, such as the expansion of Disney store shop-in-shops around the world. We now plan to create a more flexible, interconnected ecommerce experience that gives consumers easy access to unique, high-quality products across all our franchises.”

Disney (DIS) said that it’s focusing on making its shopDisney platform a more “seamless” and “personalized” experience. That online revamp will be “complemented by greater integration with Disney Parks apps and social media platforms.”

Disney plans to maintain 600 Disney Parks’ stores, shop-in-shops, lifestyle and outlet locations, as well as sales through third-party retailers worldwide.

Covid-19 has spurred an increased number of consumers to shop online. Research firm eMarketer recently said e-commerce sales across the world grew nearly 28 perent in 2020, surpassing $4 trillion.

Malls and retail centers nationally have been struggling since the coronavirus pandemic forced shutdowns and changes to the ways consumers’ shop. However, The Palisades Center had been struggling prior to the state mandated shutdown – losing both J.C. Penny and Lord & Taylor, as well as several other retailers including Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Tenants across the board ceased paying rent during the lockdown. Occupancy rate before the pandemic was 82 percent. After temporarily closing, Palisades Center Mall owner Pyramid Companies risked defaulting on its $388.5 million CMBS loan. The loan fell into special servicing in April.

Since reopening last summer, the Palisades Center has lost some tenants and gained a few. However EklecCo New Co LLC, the company that owns The Palisades Center, has sued several former and current tenants including the guarantor for Modell’s Sporting Goods for nearly $450,000 for nonpayment of rent since March 2020, Bed Bath & Beyond for $500,000 for back rent, and Solstice Sunglass Boutique for nearly $100,000 in back rent.

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Business & Professional Directory Sign-Up https://rcbizjournal.com/2021/03/04/business-professional-directory/ Thu, 04 Mar 2021 20:24:16 +0000 https://rcbizjournal.com/?p=4137 Business & Professional Directory for Rockland County, NY

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Rockland County Business Journal is pleased to offer our readers and members free inclusion in our Desktop Business & Professional Directory. Complete the form below to participate in our online directory and boost your online profile to our readers, members, B2B, B2C customers.

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Proposed Biden Policy Could Endanger 1031 Exchanges https://rcbizjournal.com/2021/03/04/proposed-biden-policy-could-endanger-1031-exchanges/ Thu, 04 Mar 2021 16:25:16 +0000 https://rcbizjournal.com/?p=5723 President Biden’s plan to eliminate the 1031 exchange program for real estate investors could pose a threat

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Administration Considering Rolling Back Plans For Real Estate Investors With Incomes Exceeding $400,000

By Judith Bachman

With a change of administrations, real estate investors and landlords must remain alert for policy changes that could impact their assets.  President Biden’s plan to eliminate the 1031 exchange program for real estate investors is one such threat.  In view of the threat, commercial real estate owners must review their portfolio and may want to accelerate plans to rebalance it, as appropriate.

judith bachmanA 1031 exchange is a swap of one investment property for another. With a 1031 exchange, instead of cashing out from a sale, the real estate owner reinvests the proceeds into another property.

The phrase 1031 exchange gets its name from IRS code Section 1031. To qualify to defer gains as a 1031 exchange, the transaction must meet certain criteria. That criteria includes (1) the properties being swapped are both used for business or investment purposes, (2) the properties being exchanged must be considered ‘like-kind’ by the IRS, (3) the sale and purchase occur within time limits of each other, and (4) the proceeds from the sale are held in escrow by an intermediary pending the swap purchase.

Commercial real estate owners use 1031 exchanges to allow the profits from their real estate investments to grow tax deferred. As there is no limit to the number of times an owner can use a 1031 exchange, they can rollover the gain from one piece of investment real estate to another, repeatedly, without having to pay gains tax at each instance. Only when/if the owner eventually sells the last property for cash, would capital gains tax be due.

Biden’s policy proposal, entitled “The Biden Plan for Mobilizing American Talent and Heart to Create a 21st Century Caregiving and Education Workforce,” states it will be paid for by “rolling back unproductive and unequal tax breaks for real estate investors with incomes over $400,000.” Officials have stated that they will take aim at “so-called like kind exchanges,” leading experts to believe the 1031 exchange program could be eliminated for high-income earners.

The elimination of this program for high-income investors could have unintended consequences for the commercial real estate market. For instance, if it is eliminated, some investors might hold on to properties for longer than in the past and it would thereby have the effect of decreasing supply and demand.

Whether the new administration eliminates the 1031 exchange program or not remains to be seen.  Commercial property owners must remain vigilant to the risks that such a policy change would pose and should proactively consult their tax advisors now.  So long as the window for 1031 exchanges remains open, they should continue to take advantage of it.

Judith Bachman is the founder and principal of The Bachman Law Firm PLLC in New City. judith@thebachmanlawfirm.com 845-639-3210, thebachmanlawfirm.com 

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Palisades Center Continues Clarkstown Resident Discounts, Mekong District Opens In Nyack, WMCHealth Names Two Rocklanders To Team https://rcbizjournal.com/2021/03/04/palisades-center-continues-clarkstown-resident-discounts-mekong-district-opens-in-nyack-wmchealth-names-two-rocklanders-to-team/ Thu, 04 Mar 2021 15:46:51 +0000 https://rcbizjournal.com/?p=5714 Palisades Continues Clarktown Resident Discounts, Mekong District Opens In Nyack, WMCHealth Names Two Rocklanders To Team

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Palisades Center Extends Discounts & Incentives To Clarkstown Residents

palisades centerPalisades Center is continuing its Clarkstown Connection exclusive savings program, which started shortly after the mall’s post lockdown reopening. Shoppers who register receive weekly savings and special incentives delivered to their inbox. To qualify, guests must reside in Clarkstown and subscribe to Palisades Center’s mailing list. Residents who join the program receive exclusive discounts, updated weekly, from Palisades Center’s retailers, restaurants, and entertainment venues such as Auntie Anne’s, Blu Alehouse, Johnny Rocket’s, Palisades Climb Adventure, SpinZone.

“It’s nice to get special perks from Palisades Center just because I’m local,” said Jeff Carson, a Clarkstown Connection participant and local shopper. “The offers are great, and I always look forward to seeing the new deals.”

“It’s great to see Palisades Center continuing their discount program for local residents,” said Clarkstown Councilman Donald Franchino. “Every dollar spent at Palisades Center and other area retail establishments drives our local economy. I hope Clarkstown residents continue to take advantage of the exclusive savings and experiences being offered.”


Mekong District Opens At 125 Main Street in Nyack

mekong districtMekong District a Viet-Inspired Restaurant has signed a long-term lease for 1,344 square feet at Main Street Promenade. Chef Tai Nham brings influences from Asian and Western cuisines to spice up his non-traditional and authentic Vietnamese cuisine.  Mekong District serves up dishes such as pho and grilled rice, Sriracha Edamame, Coconut Mussels and other inspirations. Check out the Mekong District Website

“Mekong District is an excellent addition to Main Street Promenade and we are confident that Main Street Promenade will make the perfect home for their new location,” states Jeanine Kemm, who brokered the deal for Royal Properties, Inc.



Two Rockland Residents Named To Senior Leadership Team at WMCHealth

The Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) has named two members, both Rockland County residents, of its senior leadership team to new positions.

anthony costello Anthony Costello of West Nyack has been named Executive Vice President at WMCHealth.  In this role, Costello serves as Chief Operating Officer for WMCHealth’s Valhalla (Westchester Medical Center, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital and Behavioral Health Center) and Poughkeepsie (MidHudson Regional Hospital) campuses, as well as HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley campuses in Kingston and Margaretville.

Costello is responsible for professional and ancillary services, clinical service lines, supply chain, support services, design and architecture, construction, capital planning, real estate and Advanced Physician Services, WMCHealth’s 600-member physician practice.  Costello has a 25-year career at Westchester Medical Center and WMCHealth, and has held a number of critical operational positions during that time.

josh rattnerJoshua Ratner of Wesley Hills has been appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at WMCHealth. In this role, Ratner is responsible for developing clinical and corporate strategies and for identifying and disseminating new healthcare innovation, as well as overseeing WMCHealth’s affiliate and provider relationships, behavioral health operations and government relations.

Ratner also serves on the boards of the WMCHealth’s Bon Secours Charity Health System and HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley hospitals and leads the Hudson Valley Region Hub of New York State’s Regional COVID-19 Vaccine Network. Ratner joined WMCHealth leadership in 2016.

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Professional | Business Directory https://rcbizjournal.com/2021/03/04/professional-business-directory/ Thu, 04 Mar 2021 14:47:18 +0000 https://rcbizjournal.com/?p=4364 We are pleased to offer our Interactive Professional & Business Directory. To search by category, select a category from the dropdown menu below where it says, "SEARCH BY CATEGORY." To search by company name, start typing your search where it says, "SEARCH BY COMPANY." To search the database for a "keyword," start typing where the box says "SEARCH".

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We are pleased to offer our Interactive Professional & Business Directory. To search by category, select a category from the dropdown menu below where it says, “SEARCH BY CATEGORY.” To search by company name, start typing your search where it says, “SEARCH BY COMPANY.” To search the database for a “keyword,” start typing where the box says “SEARCH“. To clear your entry, click “CLEAR FILTERS.” To apply to join the directory, click here.

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Village of South Nyack Sues Yeshiva Over Code Violations And Use Of Property https://rcbizjournal.com/2021/03/03/village-of-south-nyack-sues-yeshiva-over-code-violations-and-use-of-property/ Wed, 03 Mar 2021 21:35:31 +0000 https://rcbizjournal.com/?p=5711 The Village of South Nyack has filed a suit against Yeshiva Viznitz, which bought the Nyack College campus last year for $45.5 million, alleging the new occupant is using the property without proper permitting, has failed to conduct safety inspections, and has not resolved open code violations.

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Congregation Refuses To Apply For Special Permits, C of Os, And Remediation of Code Violations

By Tina Traster

The Village of South Nyack has filed a suit against Yeshiva Viznitz, which bought the Nyack College campus last year for $45.5 million, alleging the new occupant is using the property without proper permitting, has failed to conduct safety inspections, and has not resolved open code violations.

The suit, filed in Rockland Supreme Court this week against Yeshiva Viztnitz Dkhal Torath Chaim, Inc., is aimed at compelling the new owners to comply with the village and county codes and New York State Law.

The Village, which is in the process of dissolution and becoming part of the Town of Orangetown, claims the congregation represented that upon acquiring the property, it would seek special use permits where necessary and would address the outstanding violations.

Instead, the multi-count complaint alleges the Yeshiva has not registered with the New York State Education Department as a secondary, post-secondary or other education program, as required by state law. Because they have not registered, the state has not conducted necessary annual fire safety inspections required to protect students and staff, the suit claims.

The suit maintains the Village has “no objection to the intended use of the property,” but was forced to litigate because the congregation has refused to provide information to the village concerning how the buildings are being used and as how open safety violations will be addressed.

New certificates of occupancy are required when ownership changed. After the sale, the congregation indicated they will not be pursuing any special use permits or new certificates of occupancy for any of the parcels. The Village of South Nyack is asking the court to determine the safe, legal, and appropriate use of each of the 40 plus parcels.

The lawsuit combs through each individual parcel, and requests the court prohibit any other use than what’s permitted.

The former Nyack College was made up of many buildings and is not, for zoning purposes, just one campus. There is no special permit that covers the entire campus.

Nyack College ceased operating in September 2019 and the congregation completed the sale Dec. 20, 2020. Under the Village code, any prior nonconforming use had expired prior to the closing because a nonconforming use is only valid for one year after it’s discontinued. A prior non-conforming use, like a college campus, is a use that predates passage of the zoning code.

The Village is asking the court to confirm that the non-confirming use has expired.

Under New York State law dormitories must be tied to educational programs and are subject to New York Multiple Dwelling Law. Safety requirements under the law include occupancy levels, fire safety, lighting, and heating and others. The congregation has failed to comply with these state regulations for each and every property housing students, including dormitories at 31 South Boulevard, 65 South Boulevard and Jaffray Hall and 102-106 South Boulevard, the suit says.

Also, there are four parcels that are improved with single-family residences. On parcel at 175 South Highland Avenue was destroyed by a fire and the utilities have been cut off. Before the structure can be occupied, the congregation must obtain permits and remediate.

Other parcels are only approved as single-family residences and do not have special permits, use variances, certificates of occupancy, or prior legal nonconforming uses that would allow them to be used for anything other than single-family residences.

The Village is asking the court to bar the congregation from using these properties for anything other than single-family residences.

Several parcels are currently improved with two-family residences. For example, the building at 5 Upland Drive has been converted into office space and a café without approval. The Village is seeking a court order barring any use of these properties for any use other than two-family residences.

Griswold Cottage is also approved for use as a two-family residence. Though it previously had approval to sleep eleven students, the Village is seeking a court order to anything what was previously permitted.

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Piermont Creamery To Open Second Location In Nyack This Spring https://rcbizjournal.com/2021/03/03/piermont-creamery-to-open-second-location-in-nyack-this-spring/ Wed, 03 Mar 2021 14:57:10 +0000 https://rcbizjournal.com/?p=5705 Li is preparing to expand with an April opening of Piermont Creamery of Nyack at 85 South Broadway because a hot summer followed by a long stretch of temperate weather last fall and early winter kept people coming for home-made ice cream.

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Artisanal Ice Cream Maker Licked The Pandemic

By Tina Traster

Lorraine Li thought the pandemic was going to lick her newly opened ice cream shop Piermont Creamery in Piermont. But she told herself ‘one day at a time, one scoop at a time. Just stay in the present.’

piermont creameryNow, Li is preparing to expand with an April opening of Piermont Creamery of Nyack at 85 South Broadway because a hot summer followed by a long stretch of temperate weather last fall and early winter kept people coming for home-made ice cream.

“Business has been good,” said Li. “It’s a little bit of a luxury at a time when there isn’t much to do.”

Piermont Creamery at 530 Piermont Avenue opened in October 2019, six months before COVID hammered the world and put every small business entrepreneur to the test. The ice cream maker opened for six weeks, then shut down for the winter before reopening two weeks before Gov. Cuomo mandated a lockdown.

“I was worried,” said Li. “I’d put my life savings into this.”

But Li, 48, had enough lifelong wisdom, family support, and experience as both a high school teacher and working at her family’s restaurants in Brooklyn and Queens to find the fortitude to push on.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, I was afraid,” she said. “I wasn’t sure how I was going to make the next month’s rent. I’d invested all my money in the store. But things began to turn around in May when the weather got warmer.”

Piermont’s Creamery benefits from foot traffic from the farmers’ market, day trippers, hikers, and bikers.

Born in China, Li grew up in the food business. Always wanting to do something on her own, food seemed the right way to go. She chose ice cream – a singular retail endeavor – because she thought it was simpler than running a full-scale restaurant.

Li has carved a niche with artisanal small-batch ice cream, which gives her an edge in a boutique town like Piermont. She’s hoping for similar demographic success in Nyack, which also bills itself as a foodie hub.

Using an Electro Freeze ice cream maker, the product is made in small batches. The mixer holds about 2.5 gallons, which makes about 50 scoops. After a seven to eight-minute mixing, the batch is put in a flash freezer for 12 hours, and later transferred to a regular freezer for another 12 hours.

Li said it is far more labor intensive than buying ice cream in large tubs but fresher and better tasting. “Most ice cream stores don’t make their own ice cream,” she said.

Cones cost $3.50 for kiddy-size, $4.50 for small, $5,50 for medium, and $6.50 for large.

Opening a second store will be a challenge. Li will continue to manufacture on site in Piermont and bring the ice cream to the Nyack location, which is about 700 square feet.

Li had planned to open a second store two to three years after opening the first. Spurred on by success, she began looking for space. At the time she was scouting for her first location, almost nothing was available in Nyack. Now, there were plenty of choices and she found landlords to be more flexible.

Adam O’Gorman from Triforce Commercial Real Estate brokered the deal.

“It looks like I’ll be running back and forth all the time,” said Li, adding that being an entrepreneur requires a hands-on approach, especially when you’re serving up an artisanal specialty.

But having made it this far through what has been the toughest year for many, Li feels confident.

“The pandemic taught me that everything will be okay,” she said.” You just have to stay calm. Focus on one day at a time. What else can you do?”

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Toll Brothers Wants To Build Senior Housing In Pearl River https://rcbizjournal.com/2021/03/02/toll-brothers-wants-to-build-senior-housing-in-pearl-river/ Tue, 02 Mar 2021 16:17:05 +0000 https://rcbizjournal.com/?p=5695 Toll Brothers, a national home builder, is eyeing Pearl River for a senior living town homes on a 10-acres on Gatto Lane.

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Applicant Needs Zone Amendment To Build 40 Townhomes

By Tina Traster

Toll Brothers, a national home builder, is eyeing Pearl River for senior living townhomes on a vacant 10-acre parcel on Gatto Lane.

The applicant, which is holding a community meeting to discuss the project Thursday at 6 pm at the Knights of Columbus at 150 Eire Street, wants to build 40 units of attached senior townhomes for residents 55-and-older in a planned adult community (PAC). Their vision includes 36 two-bedroom units and four three-bedroom units. The PAC will include a recreation area for homeowners.

If they move forward, Toll Brothers will need a zoning change on the parcel from R-40 (a minimum of one-acre lots) to R-15, which allows for medium density. The applicant would also require the implementation of the town’s PAC floating zone, which is a zoning overlay in residential districts to allow denser senior housing. Under the town’s zoning cone, the town’s PACs do not allow for overlays.

Maximum building height in the zone is 35 feet, or two stories. The applicant is not asking for a height variance.

The applicant would also need variances for front-yard setback and for FAR (floor area ratio), because the project seeks a minimal increase in what is allowable.

Toll Brothers is under contract to purchase the property from Gatto Lane LLC.

To date, the applicant has had preliminary meetings with town officials. Toll Brothers, a publicly traded company, is the nation’s leading builder of luxury

gatto lane

homes and active adult communities.

The Town of Orangetown’s Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 2003, identified six goals for future residential development, including: “help facilitate the development of a variety of housing options for increasing senior population.” The plan states zoning for “adult housing should be increased to eight dwelling units per acre,” to reduce impacts including traffic, water and sewer systems, and the school tax burdens created by growing student populations. The town adopted the PAC zone based on these recommendations in the comprehensive plan.

This zone change and implementation of the overlay would be an “unlisted action” under New York SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review), and no environmental impact is necessary, according to the applicant. However, the applicant notes the property is situated within 2,000 feet of two sites listed in the New York Environmental Site Remediation Database.

Developers are showing an immense appetite to build senior housing in Rockland County and beyond. Earlier this month the Clarkstown Planning Board granted preliminary approval for a special permit to a developer who intends to build a senior housing complex on the former Schimpf Farm in West Nyack despite concerns from neighboring residents and members of the Rockland County Department of Planning. Several projects are pending.

Additionally, Orangetown, which has inserted itself into the future development of the HNA Training Center in Palisades, has said senior housing would be a potentially viable option for the 106-acre property on Route 9W.

According to 2019 Census data, the number of New Yorkers aged 65 and older increased 26 percent over the past decade. In Rockland County, 46 percent of all households are now headed by persons 55 and older, 80 percent of which are homeowners. Orangetown’s average age is 39 and 32 percent of its residents are 55 and older.

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What Is The HNA Training Center in Palisades Really Worth? https://rcbizjournal.com/2021/03/01/what-is-the-hna-training-center-in-palisades-really-worth/ Mon, 01 Mar 2021 17:25:18 +0000 https://rcbizjournal.com/?p=5689 A June 2019 appraisal ordered by Vasco Ventures, the Brooklyn group that tried unsuccessfully to purchase the HNA Training Center in Palisades in 2019 from its Chinese owner, reported that the 106-acre Town of Orangetown property’s “as is” value was worth between $18 and $20 million as a hotel/conference center.

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Earlier Appraisals And Offer Prices Show Great Spread In Potential Value

By Tina Traster

A June 2019 appraisal ordered by Vasco Ventures, the Brooklyn group that tried unsuccessfully to purchase the HNA Training Center in Palisades in 2019 from its Chinese owner, reported that the 106-acre Town of Orangetown property’s “as is” value was worth between $18 and $20 million as a hotel/conference center.

However, the appraisal also said the site’s value increased to $29 million, based on the prospective buyer’s intention to build 200 65-plus independent-living senior housing rental units, even though they would have needed a zone change.

The appraisal was conducted by LWHA Hospitality Advisors. (RCBJ has seen only a portion of the appraisal. A source close to the original deal with knowledge of the 150-page appraisal said the values varied from the $18 million to above $40 million.)

Concerning the hotel use, the appraisal says, “based on the current condition and age of the property, that upon a sale, the property would complete a renovation during year-one.” Based on renovation of similar properties, they are assuming a renovation cost of $10,000 per key, or per room, and a projected reserve of 4 percent of total revenue to cover future capital projects and renovations.

As for senior living, the appraisal, which assumes the buyer will secure necessary zoning changes and that real estate taxes remain the same, the property could be worth $29 million. Several senior housing proposals are being considered in both Orangetown and Clarkstown, including the Toll Brothers’ plan to build 40 55-plus senior townhomes on Gatto Lane in Pearl River.

The HNA property, located at 234 Route 9W, includes a hotel and conference center, sits on a secluded tract of 106 bucolic acres. The portion of the appraisal RCBJ has examined does not cite development opportunities on vacant portions of land.

In recent months, Orangetown has inserted itself into the future outcome of the property sale or redevelopment. The town put out a Request for an Expression of Interest (RFEI), which calls for a “preferred developer or preferred development team” to facilitate the town’s redevelopment goals, which may include rezoning the site to enhance rateables.

HNA is in arrears on school, town and county taxes in excess of $2 million including penalties.

As the March 15th deadline approaches for the submission of bids to redevelop the Orangetown property, it is worth noting the previous seller had a signed contract for $40 million.

Although there were more than a dozen prospective developers at a property walk-through last month, one source close to the process said there won’t likely be more than a handful of offers, adding the property is complicated, or at least that’s the case if a developer tries to working with the existing buildings.

It is unlikely a new development plan would focus solely on maintaining the hotel/conference center on site, though HNA has the right to ultimately decide to whom it sells. The hotel/conference center needs a major upgrade – in the tens of millions, according to sources. Given the way COVID has changed the way in which business is conducted, at least in the short term, it seems unlikely a continued use of the property would be viable.

In late 2019, ZVG@Palisades LLC, an entity affiliated with Vasco Ventures, tried to buy the property. The deal ultimately fell apart because the buyer did not have the roughly $40 million purchase price at the original closing deadline on July 10, 2019. The entity left an $8 million deposit on the table.

Shortly after the pandemic started, and Gov. Cuomo called for lockdowns, HNA shut down its hospitality functions. It never reopened though the site has been used for film production.

The town says it is working in cooperation with HNA Palisades Center to seek a developer to re-envision the site.

“We’ve been in close coordination with HNA,” said Michael Zarin, of Zarin & Steinmetz in White Plains. “HNA has deferred to Orangetown to take the lead on a public-private partnership.”

On Oct. 1, the Town of Orangetown board hired engineering/planning firm AKRF and attorneys Zarin & Steinmetz to assist with the marketing and sale of the parcel.

Once the town receives its bids, it plans to select a developer in mid-April.

Orangetown, which is hoping to play an influential role in the future fate of the privately-owned HNA Palisades, envisions both development and environmental conservation. Specifically, the site could be developed for a bevy uses including residential, commercial, recreational, movie studio, senior assisted living. But the list also includes what the site is or has recently been used for: hotel, conference center, or a corporate headquarters.

Taking a proactive approach to shaping development on a significant parcel is not entirely unusual, and if successful it could be used as a template for parcels in need of redevelopment in Rockland County.

HNA is free to market its parcel independently, and retains control over whether it accepts an offer, given that the parcel is privately owned. But the town, which appears set on taking control of the parcel, says it does have one tool in its kit: eminent domain.

The threat of utilizing eminent domain amounts to a rather bold claim considering Orangetown would need to re-appraise the property and would have to pony up the value of the property. The threat of the Town utilizing its condemnation authority to acquire the property could effectively dampen the market for private buyers and devalue the property.

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Suez Plans To Triple Size Of Water Treatment Facility At Lake DeForest https://rcbizjournal.com/2021/02/27/suez-plans-to-triple-size-of-water-treatment-facility-at-lake-deforest/ Sat, 27 Feb 2021 21:12:10 +0000 https://rcbizjournal.com/?p=5676 Suez Water NY Inc., the county’s principal water provider, is hoping to triple the size of its Lake DeForest Water Treatment facility at the junction Old Mill and Strawtown Roads in West Nyack.

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Water Company Hopes To Upgrade Outdated Infrastructure

By Tina Traster

Suez Water NY Inc., the county’s principal water provider, is hoping to triple the size of its Lake DeForest Water Treatment facility at the junction Old Mill and Strawtown Roads in West Nyack to improve water quality.

The proposal, which will be presented to the Clarkstown Town Planning Board on March 3 at 7:30 pm, is seeking preliminary site plan approval to upgrade its existing 22,785-square-foot water treatment plant with an expansion that includes a new transfer pump station, two above-ground storage tanks, and a raft of water treatment equipment. Each storage tank will have a capacity of 1.1 million gallons.

Suez seeks to upgrade aging infrastructure at the water treatment plant to address water quality challenges. Raw water quality has been affected by road salt, fertilizers, and other contaminants. SUEZ has achieved some success in addressing these water quality issues with temporary solutions, including use of copper-based lake treatment chemicals.

In recent years, the water treatment plant, originally built in the 1960s, has been facing stricter water criteria and the company has responded by adding regulated chemicals. While the water treatment plant continues to meet regulated limits, the company says a permanent solution is necessary.

The 20 million gallon per day (mgd) water treatment plant, along with 61 groundwater wells, serves a population of approximately 300,000 in Rockland County.

The original water treatment plant was constructed with 48-inch/30-inch raw water main from the intake building to the existing aerator. In the 1970s, new raw water pumps, chemical additions, filter equipment and two new high service pumps were added. In the 1990s, a raw water pump was added to the site. Construction of a dissolved air floatation pre-treatment process to replace the aerator and convention flocculation/sedimentation process were completed in the mid-2000s. A supplemental standby power generation was added in the late 2000s.

The planned upgrades would take place in two phases with overall capacity (20 million gallons per day) remaining unchanged.

Key upgrades under Phase I include raw water pump replacement, static mixer replacement with rapid mixing system, addition of pre-oxidation contact basins and treatment systems, underdrain replacement, and automation of the desludging system for the existing Dissolved Air Floatation Process, according to the proposal.

Upgrades under Phase II, which include the construction of a 42,000 square foot building, primarily focus on establishing an effective PFAS (perfluoroalkyl substances) treatment system because New York State has recently enacted and adopted a maximum contamination level for PFAS. The PFAS building will be located to the north of the existing water treatment plant and will consist of 14 sets of 12-foot diameter vessels used to absorb the contaminants.

PFAS have been used for decades in the manufacturing of firefighting foam, paints, cleaners, adhesives, non-stick surfaces and cosmetics. According to Suez, the substances are prevalent in food, air and water, adding the Environmental Protection Agency says most people have been exposed to the chemicals.

The Rockland Water Coalition, made up of more than 30 health and environmental groups that helped stop Suez’s proposal for a desalination plant in 2014, says there is reason to worry about PFAS, as there are more than 5,000 toxic chemicals in the PFAS family and that there is no known safe level of PFAS.

The post Suez Plans To Triple Size Of Water Treatment Facility At Lake DeForest appeared first on Rockland County Business Journal.

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