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[IMGCAP(1)]SLEEPY HOLLOW, NY-While no decision has been made on which development firm will take over the Lighthouse Landing project here, Sleepy Hollow Mayor Philip Zegarelli says there is no shortage of interested players.

In an exclusive interview with GlobeSt.com, Mayor Zegarelli says that 33 development firms have either contacted the village or General Motors directly concerning the Lighthouse Landing project that will redevelop the former General Motors assembly plant on the Hudson River shoreline into what is projected to be about a $1-billion mixed-use project. Late last year General Motors reported that its development partner Roseland Property Co. of Short Hills, NJ had withdrawn from the project, as GlobeSt.com previously reported.

“Probably 10 to 12 of the 33 firms are what you would call movers and shakers,” the mayor says. He later adds, “I am flabbergasted at the response.” The Lighthouse Landing project is in the final stages of what has become a somewhat contentious approval process. Zegarelli says that with village elections set for next week with three of the six trustee seats up for grabs, he expect the Board of Trustees to perhaps approve the special permit for Lighthouse Landing within the next six weeks. At that time, he believes GM will have whittled down the 33 interested developers down to six or seven candidates.

“They want to have it done by early April; we all do,” Zegarelli says concerning GM’s and the village’s wishes to finalize the special permit for the project.

Janine Fruehan, with GM, says, the company and the Village of Sleepy Hollow are currently working to try and resolve issues relating to the special permit and the scope of the project. “We want to get that off the table,” she adds.

Fruehan confirms that there has been significant interest from the development community in the Lighthouse Landing project. “We have gotten many calls from developers who want an opportunity to bid on this work,” she tells GlobeSt.com.

[IMGCAP(2)]General Motors filed suit against the village in November over reductions imposed by the village in the scope of the project during the SEQRA process. Zegarelli says that General Motors has not offered its comments as yet on the revised Concept Development Plan for the development. Initially, the village had given GM a deadline in January to issue comments but has since given the automaker some additional time.

While the GM lawsuit has not been withdrawn, Zegarelli says that the village has had discussions with GM concerning the project and particularly its selection of a replacement for Roseland as lead development partner.

The original Lighthouse Landing development plan filed in February 2003 called for a mixed-use project of 1,562 residential units; 185,000 sf of retail, 95,000 sf of office, a 150-room hotel or inn, and open space on the site that totals approximately 97 acres.

According to GM’s court papers, the Final Environmental Impact Statement reduced the residential units to 1,250, the retail component to 132,000 sf, the office to 35,000 sf, the ratio of residential units was cut from 72% to 51% and the overall open space and public area was increased from 26 acres to 39 acres. In addition, GM contends in court papers that the village’s Findings Statement further reduced the density to 1,177 residential units and also provides for the Village Board of Trustees “to retain the authority to change the use of one of the proposed buildings, which would have the effect of further reducing the residential density by an additional 131 units.”

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