YONKERS – Mayor Mike Spano Friday announced that the City of Yonkers has taken possession of a nearly 130,000 square foot parcel on the Ludlow waterfront, marking a major milestone in creating the first waterfront park in Southwest Yonkers.
“Today we completed the $13 million purchase of the property,” said Mayor Spano. “The next step is to work with the current tenant to relocate and then complete design and construction of the park. Southwest Yonkers is the only portion of the City’s waterfront not to have a public park, and we are now well on the way to changing that.”
The park will be a joint project of the City and County Government, with County Executive George Latimer and the County Legislature committing to at least $10 million to complete the build-out of the park. The $13 million purchase price was funded by bonds authorized last year by the Yonkers City Council. The City is currently working on design plans for the park.
The waterfront property is immediately north of the Westchester County Joint Sewage Treatment Facility and bordered on the north by American Sugar Refiners. The County has indicated it will combine an unused portion of the plant’s northern border with the City property to create the park.
Mayor Spano noted that a developer had recently offered $15 million to purchase the property, which is $2 million more than the City paid. “Not only did we preserve this property permanently for public recreation and enjoyment of the Hudson River, but we negotiated a pretty good deal,” said Mayor Spano.
The property was home to an ice plant in 1886, and more recently an oil tank farm. Currently, the property serves as a bus yard. The Yonkers Industrial Development Agency is working to identify a new location for the buses.
Before purchasing the property, the County performed a comprehensive environmental assessment of the property to confirm that there were no issues that would prevent its use as a public park. The assessment was carried out in coordination with the State Department of Environmental Conservation.
“This is an enormous step forward for our goal to make the Hudson Waterfront available to the public,” added Mayor Spano. “All of the new waterfront developments contain dedicated public access to the River, and of course we have the JFK Marina in northern Yonkers.
Creating this park in Southwest Yonkers really completes the picture.”
The City of Yonkers will be gathering public input on proposed designs for the park.
Construction is expected to begin in the next year.