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Pelham Village Officials: Agreement With Developer Could Revitalize Downtown

PELHAM, N.Y. – The Pelham Village Board of Trustees signed Tuesday night a memorandum of understanding with Spinnaker and Clarian Real Estates regarding the development of the L-shaped property on Third Street currently used as parking lots.

Mayor Ed Hotchkiss said the memorandum does not mandate that the 110-unit apartment complex be built. The mayor and board members said they hope the development will reinvigorate the downtown area of Pelham and build the commercial tax base, which was first discussed five years ago in the village master plan, Hotchkiss said.

The agreement allows Clarian and Spinnaker to “do their homework” and due diligence for six months that the board does not accept any proposals from other real estate companies. Clarian and Spinnaker will pay the board $25,000, which is non-refundable if they are unable to agree to a deal.

Clayton Fowler, chairperson and CEO of Spinnaker Real Estate Partners, and Frank Caico, principal of Clarian Real Estate Group, delivered a presentation to the board and community. They discussed their background and track record in cities like White Plains, N.Y., St. Louis, Mo., Portland, Ore. and South Norwalk, Conn.

Spinnaker and Clarian is expecting its one and two-bedroom apartment units to cater to residents without kids, such as young professionals and retirees. The company estimates the cost to be $2,500 to $3,000 depending on which room is selected by the renter. The leases would last for one year.

Fowler said he realized that there is “a lot of people we have to please, but that’s our job – I think we’re up to it.” Some residents voiced their concern on the amount of schoolchildren the apartment complex could add to what some said is an already crowded school district. Fowler said that the $2,500 to $3,000 range will be 25 percent of their likely renters’ income, which would amount to $80,000 to $120,000. He described those people as starting up in life or retiring, and not those with schoolchildren.

The board is estimating that within 90 days of the six-month period, the companies will have a site plan proposal, plus a sale and purchase agreement. At that point, the board said it is allowed to back out if it do not approve the plan. If the board does sign the sale and purchase agreement, Spinnaker and Clarian must pass through the zoning, planning and architecture review boards before final approval from the board of trustees. Hotchkiss said the total process, including the six month due diligence period, will take 18 months.

The total payment from developers would be $4.1 million – the total before tax revenue and building fees. That amount will include $1.5 million in cash when the purchase and sale agreement is signed, plus an additional $100,000 to renovate the Pelham Firehouse and 100 parking spaces worth a total of $2.5 million. The $25,000 deposit is applicable to the purchase price.

Both the board and Spinnaker and Clarian agreed that if the proposal were agreed to, the community would have plenty of time to comment throughout the 12-month period.

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