- Request for Proposals (August 2018)
- Gotham/Charter Proposal (November 2018)
- NDC Presentation (October 2019)
- Gotham/Charter Presentation (November 2019)
- Letter of Intent with Gotham/Charter (November 2019)
- Site Access Agreement with Gotham/Charter (January 2020)
- Westchester County IDA Application (March 2020)
- Economic and Fiscal Impacts of Kirby Commons (March 2020)
- Due Diligence Extension (April 2020)
- Due Diligence Extension (August 2020)
- Westchester County IDA Presentation (May 2020)
- NDC/VTMK Comments on Kirby Commons IDA (July 2020)
- Westchester County IDA Approval (June 2020)
- Kirby Commons Overview (September 2020)
- Due Diligence Extension (November 2020)
- Due Diligence Extension (January 2021)
- Due Diligence Extension (February 2021)
- Kirby Commons Update (February 2021)
- Summary of Kirby Commons Agreement to Lease (March 2021)
- Kirby Commons Contract (March 2021)
- FAQ (April 2021)
What is the Agreement to Lease?
This is the document currently before the Board of Trustees and is not the final lease. The final lease would be signed after a number of criteria are met including a full Planning Board process. The Agreement to Lease is a commitment to move to the next step in the process. It is a commitment to the financial arrangement, bulk, density, number of parking spaces and allocation, and responsibilities of each party.
Why is the Village Board considering this project?
As part of our Comprehensive Plan process, we sought to identify ways to create an active and engaged downtown. One of the recommendations was to modify zoning to allow people to reside in the downtown district. The concept is to add residents who do not have to drive to frequent our local businesses. Additional residents downtown will add more money into the local economy reducing the dependency on those outside the Village. Increased foot traffic and spending provides greater opportunity for businesses to be successful. The objective is to put more money into the local downtown economy and boost all businesses. The project also replaces seven acres of impervious surface with a development that reduces environmental impact, is aligned with smart growth principles, and is consistent with our 2017 Natural Resources Inventory (NRI). As part of our agreement, the Village will have 2,300 square feet of interior civic space that we plan to use for arts events. Fifteen (15) of the residential units will be below market rate for those at 90% of Area Median Income (AMI). It is estimated that 106 direct permanent jobs will be added in building maintenance, retail, and services.
Why was this developer selected?
The Village selected Gotham and Charter based on a Request for Proposals (RFP) issued by the Village in 2018 to advance the community driven goals and objectives of the award winning Mount Kisco Comprehensive Plan developed through active public input during the Comprehensive planning process. After interviews with other developers, and visits to their current projects, Kirby Commons was selected based on their architectural and financial proposal, and a letter of intent was signed in 2019. Additionally, their proposal had the lowest density. Gotham is a multi-generational family business with a history of success in public/private partnerships in the residential market. Charter has expertise and success in the commercial space.
Will there be enough parking for shoppers and commuters?
Yes. Currently there are a total of 596 parking spaces in the North and South Moger lots. The new buildings will include 927 parking spaces. The Village maintains revenue for 596 parking spaces. Use of those spaces will be for shoppers and commuters. The biggest change will be that the majority of commuter spaces will be moved to the North Moger lot. To accommodate commuters, the Village has begun discussions with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to create a connection to the platform directly from the North Moger lot.
How is additional traffic going to be addressed?
Additional traffic will be reviewed, as it is with all development applications, as part of the Planning Board process. Reviewing traffic and making modifications for ingress, egress, and overall traffic flow is an important component of evaluating impacts as part of a site plan. The Planning Board, in cooperation with the Village’s Engineer, Planner and Building Inspector, as well as other Village consultants, are most qualified to do this work as they do with every application.
What is the Construction Management Plan?
Similar to traffic, a Construction Management Plan (CMP) is created during the Planning Board process and with the guidance of our Building Inspector. There are very specific regulations required by New York State law and the Village Code. The CMP is a comprehensive, multi-subject plan that includes multiple subordinate plans which outline the entire project from inception to completion including sections as to how the construction intends to be managed and how to minimize the impact(s) to the residents and businesses for the full duration of the project to close-out. This includes an Organizational Chart, Communication Plan, Progress Meeting Schedule, Community Outreach Site Management Plan, Safety Plan (including Fire Safety), and Close Out Plan.
What will this cost the Village?
The Village is responsible for $4 million to contribute to the cost of the parking structure. Additionally, we agreed to spend up to $500,000 to ensure clear title on the properties. We expect to invest approximately $200,000 to improve the intersection at North Moger Avenue and Main Street. We estimate a cost of $2 million to build a connection from the North Moger parking lot to the train platform. We will be seeking grant funding to cover these costs. In the event that outside funding is not available, the fees and PILOT revenue generated from the project will cover the cost of debt payments. The commitment is that tax payers will not contribute any funding to the project. Kirby Commons does not impact our Capital Plan, as we will continue to invest in our infrastructure, paving, streetscape redesign, and water and sewer upgrades.
Who can afford to live at Kirby Commons?
A standard measure of costs assumes up to 30% of income goes to housing costs (more than 30% is considered rent overburdened). Using this calculation, and using general salary information, a teacher employed by the Bedford Central School District (BCSD) with three years of experience can afford to rent a studio. A couple who are employed as a cook and a waitress at a local restaurant can afford a one bedroom apartment, and so can a starting nurse and police officer. A couple who work for CareMount as a Physical Therapy Assistant and for Westchester County at 60 Control Dispatch can afford a one bedroom with den or two bedroom, and so can a couple who work at DPW for the Village and are employed by the BCSD as an Elementary School Teacher.
A couple with a combined income of $100,000, which is 100% of Area Median Income (AMI) can afford one bedroom apartment in Kirby Commons. If these units were offered at a reduced rate of 80% of AMI a couple with an income exceeding $80,560 would not be eligible to rent an apartment. Their income would be too high.
Mount Kisco currently has more than 450 subsidized housing units. This is far more than any other surrounding municipality. In addition, the Housing Authority manages the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program which provides financial assistance to rent housing in the private market.
How does the pandemic impact this project?
The economic challenges businesses and individuals have faced during the pandemic are very real. For businesses, some level of challenge existed pre-COVID and were exacerbated by the shutdowns. Everyone experienced lost revenue. That is one of the reasons this development proposal is important. The concept is to boost the economy by adding more residents who will spend money locally.
Research by residential realtors has indicated that there are not a lot of available quality rentals in the surrounding area. Those that are available are more expensive than what is proposed at Kirby Commons. Realtors have indicated Mount Kisco is a desirable community for many reasons, particularly its central location and easy access to Interstate 684 and the Saw Mill River Parkway. They are seeing people move out of the city and more densely populated areas for larger apartments and greater quality of life, both which are available in Mount Kisco. The offering at the price point will be very attractive.
How are costs being covered for the Bedford Central School District?
The Bedford Central School District is expected to receive $19M (that is more than any other related taxing entity). The estimated cost to educate is $18.5M based on an increase of 15 students at a cost of $30,000 each with a 2% annual escalator. This estimate is extremely conservative, as $30,000 is not the incremental cost; adding a student does not add this amount to the budget. Also important to note, the vast majority of property owners do not cover the cost to educate their children. For example a family in the Farms in Bedford pays approximately $9,000 annually in school taxes. If they have two children in the district their taxes do not come close to contributing $30,000 per child as would be contributed by the Kirby Commons project. If the District provided an incremental cost, we could demonstrate the revenue would cover cost for far more students. If net-net overall district enrollment continues to decline there is no additional impact and this money is simply guaranteed extra revenue.
Documents related to the project are available at:
February 2021 PowerPoint presentation: