White Plains, N.Y. (January 27, 2020) – The owners of the former Good Counsel school campus at 52 North Broadway have created an alternative plan for the redevelopment of the 16-acre site that significantly reduces the scale, density and building height, expands senior housing opportunities, enhances historic preservation and maintains open space on the North Broadway frontage.
At a work session of the White Plains Common Council on Monday, representatives for WP Development NB LLC presented the alternative design showing changes to the proposal that has been under review by the White Plains Common Council. The revisions include:
• Reduction in residential units: The alternative plan calls for 232 senior-restricted independent living units, a 103-unit assisted living facility, 28 townhouses and 48 workforce apartments, reducing the projected number of residents from 1,085 to 610, a 44 percent decrease.
• Reduction of parking and traffic: The alternative plan reduces the number of parking spaces to 450 from 655. As a result of the smaller resident population, projected vehicle trips in and out of the site at peak times are reduced by up to 43%.
• Reduction of building height: The plan proposes a maximum building height of six stories or 85 feet, a major reduction from 10 stories or 140 feet. Further, the first 700 feet of the Site will maintain building heights at 50 feet or lower.
• Enhanced historic preservation: The plan enhances historic preservation by maintaining the Chapel of the Divine Compassion, keeping the historic Mapleton house at its present location and preserving the west wing of the Convent that faces North Broadway, while adaptively incorporating it as part of the new development.
• North Broadway green space: The revised plan preserves the open space abutting North Broadway and the street view of the property. The public will have access to the approximately 2.3-acre front lawn.
• There will be no access from Ross Street except for emergency vehicles. Neither garbage trucks nor residents will have access from Ross Street.
In addition to the project revisions, the owners have complied with State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) requirements related to the landfill area. The proposed project will also comply with state regulators’ requirements to safely cap the landfill during construction. There will be no activity in the landfill area without DEC approval. Roughly half of the landfill area will be permanently capped under a building. The balance of the area will be covered with a new capping membrane and a new topsoil covering. In a March 8, 2019 letter to the City of White Plains, the DEC stated that “sampling of the [fill] material does not show that it is contaminated at levels considered hazardous.” The soil samples were provided to the state by an independent environmental consultant hired by the City of White Plains.
For more than 100 years, the property was exempt from real-estate taxes when it was owned by The Sisters of the Divine Compassion for educational and religious use. Since its purchase in 2015 the property has been on the tax rolls, generating significant revenue for White Plains. Once the proposed residential community is developed, it will provide substantial additional tax revenues to the City of White Plains and its school district.