Rivertowns Square Developer Suspends Review

SEQRA process for Rivertowns Square is suspended; no date has been set for when it will resume.

Dobbs Ferry Mayor Hartley Connett sent the following message to residents Thursday:

This message is to inform residents, relevant review boards, and all agencies and interested parties that the Applicant for the mixed use proposal known as Rivertowns Square has notified the  Village to suspend the SEQRA review process at this time. As any new information or direction from the Applicant becomes available the village will communicate to the public.

Village administrator Marcus Serrano said he could not comment on the reason the review process had stopped and that a date had not been set for its resumption. 

"The only thing I can confirm and say is that we did stop all of the consultants from working on the development," said lead developer Martin Berger. He also would not comment on the process' sudden cessation. 

We will keep you updated as more information becomes available. 

PoorLittlePinkus July 26, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Could Hartley finally be showing some wisdom?????
Robert Distefano July 27, 2012 at 10:52 AM
Hopefully the deveolper will now reconsider using the perfectly good buildings wich are presently there and maybe the village can assist in attracting a company or business which can use the buildings in the present configuration!
Kbg July 27, 2012 at 12:16 PM
Too bad!........a cultural use area would have been great...
eileen lawler July 27, 2012 at 12:30 PM
No soliloquy from Pat Steinschneider?
Dobbs Resident July 27, 2012 at 02:13 PM
This is great news for Dobbs Ferry and it's residents! The project as is was would be a terrible burden for this community. Hopefully, the developers have realized this and will greatly lessen it's scope, or even better leave the area entirely!
George Bailey July 27, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Since reopening the buildings brings 1,000 to 2,000 cars to the area, but requires no approval process, who makes the millions of dollars of improvements to the roads, drainage and everything else? I guess that will be the Village, which means that it won't ever get done. And what is that use likely to be, given that the buildings were available for rent for almost ten years before they were purchased in 2010. I don't see this boding well for the neighborhood. But I guess it gives a small group a sense of great power. Let's see if they are still willing to take credit for what they accomplished in a couple of years.
DF July 27, 2012 at 07:00 PM
What a shame. The area is in serious need of improvements. A scaled down project would have been a great addition.
change can be good July 27, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Great news $450,000 in lost tax revenue? Buildings that will sit there to rot? It's a shame how people are so selfish.
Anonymous in Dobbs Ferry July 27, 2012 at 08:06 PM
This is great news. Hopeful for a better plan, with less impact, better environmental use...
That'sMr.RitaChangToYou July 28, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Bob Rieser for Mayor of Dobbs Ferry!!
Holdingouthope July 28, 2012 at 07:59 PM
You may believe he stands alone in his thoughts because most people who think this project will be great for the Village are afraid to speak out in favor. They instead later say, too bad that didn't happen, as with many other proposed projects over the years. I say too bad as well. Too bad for the new unattractive S&S. It belongs in a strip mall. Another lucky town will reap the benefits of these developers' proposition. Let's keep the so-called tranquil woods and perfectly good buildings as is; they are oh so attractive. In fact, let's go back to horse and buggy time with dirt roadways and horse **** all over. I bet there were no traffic jams then. What a mess us human beings have created buy procreating. There should be a limit on children in this country. Maybe that will stop development.
YoungDF2006 August 02, 2012 at 08:52 PM
I have heard that the only asking buyer on the property is a drug rehab center, that will have government backing. Apparently a center for street using drug addicts from NYC and Jersey. Lets get real Dobbs. Grow up and embrace improvements. I am a young resident and I would love to see one of you buy the land and develop it in a way that is profitable on intitial investment (thats the reson to develop correct?) The plan seemed great for local business and economy. A shame that we will have CV and a drug center taking up much of the southeast part of town.
Paddy Steinschneider August 04, 2012 at 05:32 PM
I have a house in the Hamptons. One Spring, Dustin Hoffman looked at it for a summer rental. By the time I got out to the Village, I was congratulated for renting my house to Al Pacino. About a week later, I got a call from a friend who wanted to know if it was true that I had sold my house to Robert De Niro. Rumors are dangerous. From what I have heard, the owners of the old Akzo Noble property continue to be hopeful that things can be worked out with the Village so that Rivertown Square can move forward. This is a complicated process, which a small group opposing the project have made more difficult by mounting a disinformation campaign. They sent a flyer to everyone in Dobbs Ferry with so much misinformation that it would take too long to address. Unfortunately, that is how false rumors get started. How many people who say they oppose the project on the basis of traffic are aware that the developers have proposed to pay for extensive changes to the road network in the Village to provide what the Village's traffic engineer has determined to be the best solution to fix the current traffic congestion problems? In other words, not just mitigate so that the additional traffic doesn't make it worse, but take the steps to eliminate the current traffic problems and make things better and safer. The existing buildings can be leased to tenants without any improvements to the streets. However, I doubt that the best paying tenant would be a drug rehab center.
Concerned Local Merchant August 04, 2012 at 05:45 PM
How shortsighted of those residents whose only agenda is how it impacts them personally. While the original project may have over reached in scope, the lifestyle improvements to the overhelming majority of residents would have been profoundly enhanced. It's time for the rest of the community to speak up. And to those whose argument is that this project will hurt downtown business, with the limited parking available for shoppers those merchants are already hamstrung. Downtown needs more parking, not just for shoppers but how about for all the employees who work there.
change can be good August 05, 2012 at 03:06 AM
the Village board killed down town ask every store owner and I will bet you 8 out of 10 have an unfavorable review of the past 15 years of leadership. We are going backwards in Dobbs and I mean in a hurry. Paddy I support the project and I hope the developer finishes this. Remember my friends be careful what you wish for we may end up with something far worse than what is or was planned.
George Bailey August 05, 2012 at 03:12 PM
I'm trying to separate fact from fiction. There is nothing indicating that the developer has done anything other than asking the Village to hold off on finishing the EIS until the Village has made its intentions clear. While there are rumors about other uses for the existing building, nothing indicates that the developer has withdrawn the application and moved ahead with a tenant. There is also nothing that indicates that the Mayor and Board of Trustees have yet made any decisions about the project. The people cheering that the project has been killed by the Village Board seem to be making a lot of assumptions. If the Board denies the application before it completes SEQR, it would be violating State laws. A couple of things do seem clear and people should make sure that they really know what they are encouraging with their enthusiasm. The owner of the property could decide to rent the existing buildings out without any major approval process with the village. If the existing space was simply rented out, there would be no requirement for any improvements that would address the traffic problems. If it turned out that reusing those existing buildings made the traffic get worse, the cost of street improvements would be the responsibility of the village. Renting out the buildings as is puts cost demands on the village without providing any additional tax revenue. Given all alternatives, the village's consultants have said that the project proposed is best for the village.
BR Cannon August 08, 2012 at 02:39 AM
That flyer sent by the "Rivertowns Preservation Association" was not so good. It did not help their cause, it was hard to know what was fact and what was hysterical conjecture or just off point (pollution?). I'm interested to hear them make their case but not like that.
ILOVEMYTOWN August 09, 2012 at 01:02 PM
This should have been down sized down from the start. They made no effort to fight it and welcomed it with open arms. The local govt seems to have very self centered interests as they have not shown us any ways this would help the village or the towns around us. They accepted the plan in full with open arms until residents spoke out. Even the developers took out an add. Where is our government for the people? The traffic down by the gym now is a joke an an embarrasment to our town. How can the village trustees ignore it and not try to fix it yet. Nice barrier they put up to make us look ghetto, but the design of that traffic exit/entry is a joke and so are the trustees that allowed it to happen.


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