Mount Vernon Receives $300,000 Settlement
Developer Apologizes to Mayor Thomas
MOUNT VERNON, NY — February 23, 2018 — The final hurdles for opening the 159-unit La Porte affordable apartment complex on Gramatan Avenue have been cleared with the dismissal of a lawsuit and the developer agreeing to pay the city a $300,000 settlement and apologize to the mayor.
“Community redevelopment is a hard business, and it requires cooperation, coordination, and teamwork, ” said Peter Fine of Blue Rio LLC, the developer, in announcing the end to the litigation. “Although I previously criticized the City, we have now succeeded in bridging the disagreements and misunderstandings between us and understand where the other was coming from. I want to thank and congratulate Mayor Thomas for his leadership and vision in getting this project done. His commitment to building up the community, rather than being mired in the past, deserves enormous praise. Mr. Mayor, we couldn’t have done it without you.”
The $300,000 in settlement money will go toward the restoration of neighboring Hartley Park and local development activities. Fine also noted that construction of the La Porte project at 203 Gramatan Avenue provided over $10 million in economic benefits to Mount Vernon contractors and suppliers and employed 47 Mount Vernon residents.
In addition to providing much-needed housing for 159 families, the developer installed plantings, benches, trees, and new lighting on Gramatan Avenue, and constructed a new public garage on the site, which is being deeded to Mount Vernon.
Mayor Thomas said the La Porte project, and the public-private partnership behind it between the city and Blue Rio, were more evidence of Mount Vernon’s economic growth, which includes the opening of The Modern, a new 81-unit housing development; four new market-rate housing developments under construction by major developers, which will add 888 units and $300 million in new investment to the city; the redevelopment around the Mount Vernon West Metro-North train station, and the announcement by the Wartburg that it will construct a new luxury retirement community in Mount Vernon.
“These developments are transforming the local economy, creating jobs, providing housing, and increasing the quality of life in Mount Vernon,” Thomas said. “They are a testament to the fact that Mount Vernon is a desirable community and the centerpiece of development in Southern Westchester. Safe and sustainable development is welcome in Mount Vernon and we look forward to working with developers to achieve this vision.”
SOURCE: Maria Donovan, Mayor Thomas’ Press Office.