The Yonkers Industrial Development Agency gave initial approval yesterday to provide incentives for Ferncliff Manor to rebuild its campus in the city for children with developmental disabilities, The Journal News/lohud.com reports. The school had been seeking to relocate its campus to another site for years, including the former WestHELP homeless shelter site in Greenburgh and the Austin Avenue industrial site in Yonkers.
Ferncliff Manor, located on 6 acres at 1154 Saw Mill River Road since 1958, currently serves 67 residential and day students with severe developmental and physical disabilities. The children live in a 100-year-old residential building and attend classes in “temporary” trailers and leased space nearby. The school employs 200 people.
The IDA gave initial approval for $707,688 in sales tax exemptions on construction materials and authorized its staff to negotiate a property tax abatement. The new campus would cost an estimated $23.4 million and consist of a two-story school building plus 11 six-person residences. The existing residential building would be renovated and house administrative offices.
Ferncliff Manor must submit its proposal to the state Education Department, the state Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities and the state Office for Children and Family Services for approval. If approved, the project would take an estimated three years to complete.
“We’re especially pleased that the children who live at Ferncliff and the people who care for them can continue to stay in Yonkers,” Mayor Mike Spano, who chairs the IDA, said in a statement. “Ferncliff has a long and proud history in Yonkers, and we look forward to writing a new chapter with the kind of modern facility that these children deserve. I hope the state agencies will move quickly to approve the plan.”
Also yesterday, the IDA gave initial approval to providing assistance to convert the empty 130,000-square-foot Metlife Records Center building at 759 Palmer Road to a 61-unit loft-style apartment building. The $16 million project would maintain the historic exterior of the building and include building a two-story interior parking garage, rooftop common area, an indoor pool and a fitness center.
WY Palmer Road applied for the sales- and mortgage-recording-tax exemptions as part of its plan to spend $21.5 million acquiring and adaptively reusing the MetLife complex.
The IDA voted to proceed with $546,238 in sales tax exemptions on construction materials and a $378,000 mortgage tax exemption on the purchase of the property. The board authorized IDA staff to negotiate a property tax abatement. The project will need variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals, which has scheduled a vote on future use of the property for its Tuesday meeting.
(Journal News file photo of Ferncliff Manor.)