Port Chester Deserves a Better Deal at the United Hospital Site
Greenwich-based private equity firm Starwood Capital asks the Village to rezone the former United Hospital to permit construction of a giant mixed-use development. This project could benefit our entire community… but not as currently planned.
That’s because Starwood seeks to destroy over 100 affordable homes and wants approval of a plan that would cut its property taxes by a projected $58 million over 20 years. This would cost our schools nearly $34 million in revenue, money that our overcrowded schools need badly. (The developer wants this tax cut at a time when voters are considering a $65 million bond offering for school expansion to combat overcrowding -- overcrowding that this project could exacerbate!)
Port Chester and our schoolchildren need a better deal! Starwood, the Mayor and the Trustees must come up with a plan for the hospital site that better reflects our community’s serious need for good jobs, housing and school funding! When the public invests in private developments like this one, they must be built and operated in a way that creates real, long-term value for both developers and communities.
- Village of Port Chester
Mayor Pilla and Trustees
Mayor Pilla and Village Trustees:
The redevelopment of the United Hospital could be a project that benefits our entire community if it provides good jobs and affordable housing, increases vital funding for our schools and community services, and is constructed in a way that doesn't harm our environment.
But right now, Starwood has not put forth a plan for responsible development at the United Hospital site.
We urge you to work with Starwood on a plan that better reflects our community's needs for good jobs, housing and school funding. Before our Village invests in the company by giving it a rezoning, Starwood should enter into a legally-enforceable agreement to provide the following essential community benefits:
*A guarantee that all jobs for building and running the project will be good, safe jobs, offering ample training opportunities and at least area-standard wages and benefits; with a significant portion of these jobs made available to Port Chester residents.
*A plan for 20% of the project's units to be affordable for working Port Chester families or funding from Starwood for the construction of an equal number of affordable units at a separate site within the Village.
*Funding for expansion of Port Chester schools to ensure this project does not exacerbate the overcrowding that our students and educators already struggle with.
*The hiring of an independent monitor to supervise cleanup and mitigation at the hospital site, which is contaminated with hazardous materials, including PCBs, human waste and asbestos.
We urge you to work with Starwood on developing a plan that includes these provisions and is legally-enforceable. When the public invests in private developments like this one, they must be built and operated in a way that creates real, long-term value for both developers and communities.
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