YONKERS, NY—The city of Yonkers has officiallymoved on from what was an ambitious $3-billion plan to redevelop aportion of its downtown, including a parcel known as“Chicken Island.”

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The city on Monday announced it had released a request forproposal for the six-acre Chicken Island tract located northeast ofYonkers City Hall. More than eight years ago, Yonkers selected adevelopment team nicknamed “SFC,” which had proposed to developabout $3 billion of mixed-use space on the waterfront and downtown,including Chicken Island. The development team featured StrueverBros. Eccles & Rouse, Fidelco Realty Group, and CappelliEnterprises. The partnership has since dissolved with FidelcoRealty still pursuing a rental housing development at the H&Isite on the city's waterfront.

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“Chicken Island is prime real estate in our city that willcontinue the revitalization of our downtown district,” saysYonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “We are asking for plansthat are practical, that will improve the downtown experience andthat have sufficient financial backing. It's finally time forbricks and mortar on the ground.”

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Chicken Island is zoned D-MX (downtown mixed use zoning), ahigh-density zone permitting development up to 25 stories. Thezoning permits retail, restaurant, office, colleges, personalservice establishments, residential and other uses.

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“The direction of the development should be in accordance withwhat the market dictates as well as what makes sense for the peopleof Yonkers,” Mayor Spano says.

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City officials say that the Chicken Island development projectaims to develop high-quality office buildings and “excitingdowntown retail shopping opportunities” that will attract local andregional visitors and workers. Mixed-use, live-work, micro-units orother innovative residential uses will also be considered as a partof the overall development mix, they add.

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The RFP states that the city seeks to identify and create newinstitutional uses for new or existing educational, cultural and/orarts facilities, or other beneficial community uses for thedowntown district. The project may be eligible for New York Statetax credits under the New York State Brownfield CleanupProgram.

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John Jordan

John Jordan is a veteran journalist with 36 years of print and digital media experience.