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Residents: Proposed Apartments In Pelham Could Kill Property Values

PELHAM, N.Y. – The proposed development of an apartment complex at the L-shaped property on Third Street hit a snag Wednesday night with Pelham residents concerned that the project could hinder the area’s quality of life.

Attendees of the Pelville Association meeting said the property, which is currently used as parking lots, would devalue the surrounding area and lead to more parking issues.

“They’re going to kill my property value,” said Clifford Raggo, who lives across the street from the proposed 110-unit complex. “I don’t think that’s fair to the people that own a home in that block.”

Raggo said that “with the building, my view would be a wall,” and people would be able to look inside his window at night if he kept the light on.

Adam Kagan, a member of the Pelham Board of Trustees and resident of the Pelville neighborhood, was at the meeting and ended up sitting with the Pelville board members while answering the residents’ concerns.

He said that quality of life and parking issues were concerns that he and the real estate companies would research. Clarian and Spinnaker Real Estates, the companies responsible for the proposed complex, paid the village board $25,000 after the village unanimously agreed to a memorandum of understanding during its June 5 board meeting.

The hope of the mayor and board members is that 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, Mayor Ed Hotchkiss said at the time.

The agreement allows Clarian and Spinnaker to “do their homework” and due diligence on the property for six months to develop a site plan while the board does not accept any proposals from other real estate companies.

Executives from both Clarian and Spinnaker estimate the building’s cost of living would be $2,500 to $3,000, depending on the apartment. The leases in the one and two-bedroom four-story apartment complex would last for one year. Spinnaker representatives plan to be at the October Pelville Association meeting.

At the Pelville meeting and board meeting, residents also voiced their concerns on the amount of schoolchildren the apartment complex could add to what some said is an already crowded school district. Pelville Association President Tom Riccio said that the village board must understand that the Pelham schools cannot "absorb a few children here and there," especially at Hutchinson Elementary.

Clayton Fowler, chairperson and CEO of Spinnaker Real Estate Partners, said the estimated $2,500 to $3,000 cost of living range would be 25 percent of the 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 village board is estimating that within 90 days of the real estate companies’ 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 does not approve of the plan. If the board does sign the sale and purchase agreement, Spinnaker and Clarian must pass through the village’s 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.

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