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Schumer pledges federal support for Yonkers power plant rehab

Posted By Colin Gustafson On January 16, 2013 @ 4:28 pm In Yonkers | Comments Disabled

[1]YONKERS—U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer toured the crumbling Glenwood Power Plant on Wednesday, calling for millions of dollars in federal tax credits to spur its rehabilitation.

Developer Glenwood POH plans to redevelop the long-vacant plant, which once generated third-rail power for New York Central Railroad’s Hudson and Harlem line trains, into a convention center with hotels and restaurants.

Schumer called the $250 million project a “very high priority.”

With increased federal support, he said, the century-old structure “can avoid the wrecking ball and help honor the city’s legacy by spurring development” and creating jobs.

Schumer spoke inside the site’s cavernous “turbine hall,” a graffiti-covered space that would be transformed into a conference center and exhibition hall featuring shops and a spa. His tour also included stops in an open-air courtyard slated to become a seasonal garden and a narrow switch house that would be renovated into a high-end corporate retreat.

The developer also plans to renovate the iconic “smoke stack building” into a hotel.

Schumer said construction could begin this year if the project gets the financial support it needs. He is pushing for federal tax credits from both the Treasury’s New Markets Tax Credit program and from the National Park Service, meant to spur private-sector investment in urban real estate projects and historic building rehabs, respectively.

The Glenwood project is slated to open in 2016 and is estimated to create 2,000 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent ones.

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Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano called the plan a “transformative” one that will bring a “world-class destination” to the city’s waterfront.

Details about parking at the revitalized plant have yet to be finalized.

An earlier version of the developer’s plan called for constructing an “invisible” parking garage in the slope of a hill in neighboring Trevor Park. But community opposition to that idea prompted Glenwood POH to consider alternatives, including building an L-shaped multi-level structure around the site of an old greenhouse off Ravine Avenue.

The developer is expected to provide more details when the city Planning Board meets to discuss the project Jan. 30.


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