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NEW CASTLE, NY-The owner of the Reader’s Digest property here has officially submitted a revised development plan for its Chappaqua Crossing project after being rebuffed late last year on a larger mixed-use proposal. Geoff Thompson, a spokesman for the developers, says the project is seeking approval on two separate applications at the same time.

One application calls for the New Castle Town Board to rezone approximately 65 acres to permit multihousing development. Another proposal is before the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals to remove the municipal regulation that restricts the owners to signing three tenants to a maximum total of 171,000 sf of available office space at the Reader’s Digest main building, which includes common areas in the building.

Joint venture partners Summit Development and Greenfield Partners, both of South Norwalk, CT, have reduced the number of age-restricted–age 55 and over–and work force housing residences from 348 units to 278 units. Of the revised total, 222 will be senior-restricted units; 32 will be affordable work force housing units earmarked for municipal employees and emergency service volunteers and 24 units will be age-restricted affordable residences. A total of 234 units will be single-floor condominium apartments to be constructed in eight three-story buildings with 44 townhomes built in clusters of 10 and 12 units.

The Summit/Greenfield partnership is looking to market a total of 295,000 sf of available office space. The building’s sole tenant at the moment is Reader’s Digest, which signed a 20-year lease for approximately 225,000 sf of space when the Summit/Greenfield partnership acquired the building in December 2004 in a deal valued at $59 million.

Thompson says the building at the time of the sale had been restricted to one tenant. However, in 2005 the ordinance was amended to allow up to four tenants, including Reader’s Digest. Felix Charney, president of Summit Development, has stated that with the lifting of the office space restrictions and the development of the residential component of the Chappaqua Crossing venture, the ownership will demolish 180,000 sf of existing office space and forfeit its right to develop an additional 300,000 sf of commercial office/laboratory space on the property.

Thompson notes that Cushman & Wakefield, the exclusive leasing agent for the property, has found strong leasing interest, but from tenants looking for 5,000 sf to 15,000 sf, not the 30,000 sf to 50,000 sf that would be needed to fill the space under the current restrictions.

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