WHITE PLAINS—The Westchester County IndustrialDevelopment Agency approved sales and mortgage taxexemptions for two new development projects on Thursday that willcost almost $52 million to complete.

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The IDA approved a sales tax exemption of $380,780 and amortgage tax exemption of $299,000 for Valhalla, NY-basedGinsburg Development Companies for its$34.9-million Saw Mill Lofts in the Village ofHastings-on-Hudson. The development, to be built on a 7.45-acreparcel, will involve the construction of three rental apartmentbuildings. A total of 54 market rate apartment units will befeatured in two of the buildings, with the center buildingcontaining 12 affordable units. GDC will donate a two-acre park tothe village and will also build a 100-foot ramped bridge connectingthe waterfront property to the South County Trailway.

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Bruce Lozito, community planner for GDC, saidthat the company expects to break ground on the project in thespring of 2015. The firm has secured final site plan approval forthe venture from Hastings-on-Hudson. The project is expected tocreate 100 construction jobs during its 18 months of construction.County officials note that the project was previously approved toreceive approximately $1,17 million from the County of Westchesterfor land acquisition and infrastructure work, which will counttoward the 750 affordable units required under the county's 2009housing settlement with the federal government.

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GDC Principal Martin Ginsburg, in a preparedstatement, said of the county's assistance, “The Lofts at Saw MillRiver will bring unique contemporary loft-like rental apartments toWestchester County as well as affordable workforce housing. Thepublic/private partnership between the Westchester IDA and GDC iskey to making those affordable units possible.”

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At its Thursday morning session, the IDA also approved a salestax exemption of $1.2 million and a mortgage tax exemption of$200,000 for XSS LLC, an affiliate of Hooksett, NH-basedXSS Hotels for the development of a 138-roomHilton Garden Inn to be built as part of theRivertowns Square mixed-use retail project inDobbs Ferry being developed by Saber Dobbs Ferry,LLC. The hotel at 35 Livingston St. will create 165construction jobs over the next 12 months and 50 full-timepermanent jobs upon completion. The 83,000-square-foot hotel willbe built above a 127,000-square-foot retail space. XSS will alsobuild an adjoining parking garage that will contain approximately550 parking spaces.

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Mark Stebbins, managing partner of XSS Hotels,said the construction cost for the hotel is $17 million. He peggedthe overall development cost for the venture, including landacquisition, at $30 million. Stebbins said that he hopes to beginconstruction on the hotel in June 2015 with an opening of thefacility set for the summer of 2016. XSS owns a Hampton Inn inYonkers in Westchester County and a Residence Inn in Orangetown inRockland County. He said the company is looking to expand itsfootprint in the New York metro region and is in discussions withSaber on other possible sites as well as other property owners.

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Martin Berger, principal of Saber Dobbs Ferry,said that site work on the retail component of Rivertowns Squarewould likely commence in February 2015. The project will feature116,000 square feet of retail shops and restaurants, including Mrs.Greens Natural Market as well as an iPic Theater that will featureeight screens, approximately 650 seats and a high-end restaurant.The cost of the retail component of the project, which includesbuild-out of existing space, is estimated at approximately $75million. Lincoln Properties Group is also developing approximately200 residential units at the more than 17-acre site. Berger said heunderstands construction of the rental housing will likely coincidewith the start of the retail component of the Rivertowns Squaredevelopment.

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Earlier this year, the IDA approved $1,609,402 million in taxincentives for the Rivertowns Square project, which will create atotal of 660 full and part-time jobs and 475 construction jobs.

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Westchester County Executive Robert Astorinostated in an announcement of the IDA inducements, “Today'sjob-creating projects were made possible by the support ofWestchester County's IDA and the commitment of business leaders whorealize the value of Westchester. These projects invest in thefuture of our Rivertowns, providing affordable rental housing forprofessionals and accommodations for family members of area collegestudents and hospital patients, as well as business travelers.”

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John Jordan

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