Three "Smart Growth" Developers to be Honored at Scenic Hudson Gala

Friday, May 16, 2008 -- Jason Taylor

HUDSON VALLEY -- Scenic Hudson will honor three "smart growth" developers at its gala in Irvington, Westchester County, on Tuesday, May 20.

Projects by all three developers – Bridge Street Properties, based in Irvington; LeylandAlliance of Tuxedo, Orange County; and the Jonathan Rose Companies, headquartered in New York City – have revitalized downtowns, bringing economic prosperity to former industrial waterfronts and connecting people to the Hudson River while protecting historic and ecological resources. Their work epitomizes Scenic Hudson's strategy to steer development to municipal centers, protecting working farms and other open space on their outskirts.

"These developers are getting it right, creating exciting projects where developments ought to be – in our city and town centers. Their work helps create economically vibrant communities and minimize sprawl. The projects of Bridge Street Properties, LeylandAlliance, and the Jonathan Rose Companies should serve as a smart-growth template for the ongoing development of the Hudson Valley's precious and magnificent waterfronts," said Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan.

Bridge Street Properties delivers exciting workplace, new jobs in Irvington

Bridge Street Properties, led by Jeffrey Reich and William Thompson, has transformed the decaying industrial waterfront in Irvington into an office complex that now houses 60 tax-paying businesses employing more than 600 people. The developer renovated two century-old factories where some of the country's most famous greenhouses were manufactured, retaining their original oversize windows and skylights to create loft-like spaces that the The New York Times dubbed "SoHo on the Hudson."

The one new building constructed on the property, similar in appearance to its historic neighbors, was designed to comply with New York State's Green Building Initiative, and features salvaged and recycled materials as well as the most energy-efficient windows, lighting and appliances, including a geothermal HVAC system. The developer also created an esplanade along the shoreline for enjoyment of spectacular views of the Hudson River and Palisades.

"By renovating the low-rise buildings on the Irvington waterfront, Bridge Street Properties has protected great vistas that residents have enjoyed for generations and saved an important part of the village's heritage. Just as important, the development is adjacent to the Metro-North station and a short walk from Main Street, so employees don't have to rely on cars. Such transit-oriented development is crucial if we are to stem the tide of global climate change," said Mr. Sullivan.

LeylandAlliance creates new neighborhoods, opportunities in Warwick, Newburgh

LeylandAlliance -- headed by President Steve J. Maun, Executive Vice President Louis G. Marquet, and Executive Vice President and General Counsel Howard Kaufman -- is devoted to creating traditional main-street neighborhoods that foster a sense of community and incorporate innovation to achieve a sustainable future. Warwick Grove, a new active adult neighborhood in the historic Village of Warwick, Orange County, features condominium apartments, townhouses and single-family homes located on narrow lanes that encourage walking instead of driving. Its houses are designed in architectural styles representative of the historic traditions of the valley; numerous small parks are spaced throughout the development, which also contains its own clubhouse, swimming pool, post office and a site for a new village library. Buildings are clustered on 35 of the site's 130 acres, safeguarding a surrounding conservation area that is home to abundant wildlife.

The developer also is working with the City of Newburgh, Orange County, on a project to revitalize 30 acres of vacant waterfront. A significant portion of the design is devoted to public access in the form of parks, riverside esplanades, an amphitheater, restaurants and space for commercial businesses.

"LeylandAlliance is showing that iconic Hudson Valley villages like Warwick can expand without destroying the natural and historic charm that attracts residents. And thanks to a series of meetings convened by the developer with Newburgh residents and international consultants, that city will get a waterfront that boosts its economy and serves as a superb gateway to the region for travelers arriving at the soon-to-be-expanded Stewart International Airport," said Mr. Sullivan.

Jonathan Rose Companies opens waterfronts to all residents

As a leading "green" urban-solutions provider, the Jonathan Rose Companies – led by Jonathan F.P. Rose – collaborates with nonprofits, towns and cities to create environmentally, socially and economically responsible developments throughout the country. In Yonkers, Westchester County, it teamed with the Greyston Foundation to turn a 1.6-acre brownfield on the river into a bakery that fosters economic renewal by hiring and training local residents regardless of their work histories. Designed by Maya Lin (architect of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.), the building employs the latest "green" building techniques. In Irvington, the developer again partnered with the Greyston Foundation and local, state and federal governments to transform a former industrial building on the waterfront into a public library and 22 units of affordable housing.

A thought leader in smart growth, national infrastructure, "green" building and affordable housing movements, Jonathan F.P. Rose chairs the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Blue Ribbon Panel Sustainability Commission, which recently released its groundbreaking incentive program to encourage transit-oriented development in communities served by the MTA. Mr. Rose and his wife Diana also partnered with the Open Space Institute to save a former Capuchin monastery in Garrison, Putnam County, from development. Today it houses the Garrison Institute, a spiritual center the Roses created to brings together people from around the world to discuss pressing issues on a global and local level.

"The Jonathan Rose Companies' partnership project in Irvington should serve as a model for the visionary ways municipalities can turn what look like liabilities – empty industrial buildings – into enormous assets. It not only attracts residents to the village's waterfront, including Scenic Hudson Park at Irvington, but provides smart-growth residential space next to the Metro-North station. As chair of the MTA's Sustainability Commission, Mr. Rose is paving the way for other waterfront communities to follow his lead. And at the Garrison Institute, he provides a global forum for promoting sustainable development," said Mr. Sullivan, who chairs the commission's Smart Growth/Transportation-Oriented Development Working Group.

Gala honors partners in crucial land-preservation campaign

The gala is being held at the Red Hat restaurant, located at the Bridge Street Properties development in Irvington. It is one of three events Scenic Hudson is hosting in May and June to celebrate the partnerships that will enable the organization to complete its campaign to Save the Land that Matters Most – protecting 65,000 threatened acres throughout the Hudson Valley that have been deemed by the state of the highest scenic and/or biological significance. A June 21 gala at Listening Rock Farm in Wassaic, Dutchess County, will honor 12 land trusts that have joined Scenic Hudson in this initiative. On June 25, the organization will honor State Parks Commissioner Carol Ash and the organization Parks & Trails New York for spearheading efforts to restore our magnificent state parks.