More than 50 attend presentation on proposed construction of Village of Pelham municipal building and 126 apartments

Upwards of 50 people attended a presentation Tuesday by Village of Pelham officials on a developer’s proposed plan for a new municipal building to include a firehouse, village offices and police station at the site of the former Capital One Bank, as well as the construction of a building with 126 apartments across Fifth Avenue.

Pelham Mayor Chance Mullen focused on the impact on the Pelham school district of adding the 126 apartments, stating the mix of studios and one bedroom units would add 9.9 students to the district, on the high end.

The presentation was part of a regular village board of trustees meeting held at the Local Branch, the coworking space in the former Capital One Bank building.

Former Mayor Michael Volpe said, “The type of housing we are considering does not overflow or overcrowd the schools.”

Some of those attending the presentation on a project to build a Village of Pelham municipal building and apartment complex.

In a March 3 press release, the village previously said that developer Pelham House had tentatively agreed, as part of the plan, to purchase $6.8 million worth of village-owned land “in exchange for nearly $15 million in immediate public improvements,” including construction of the municipal center, dedicated public parking and cash payments toward a host of village priorities.

Concerns over parking spaces were raised during the meeting. Mullen said the development would force the village to replace 210 parking spaces, with roughly 70 spaces still unaccounted for, but likely coming from the village reevaluating its policies on existing parking spaces.

Mullen listed problems that exist in Pelham’s downtown area that he argued the project would solve, including low foot traffic leading to a reduced ability to attract new businesses, the tax burden shifting increasingly towards homeowners, as well as parcels of land generating no tax revenues at all.

The Pelham House development team, which included the developers, as well as an architect who worked on the project, said the target market for the apartments included renters by choice, older millennials looking to sample the area before purchasing a home and empty nester’s from Pelham who are seeking to downsize.

Mullen and the Pelham House team both praised the proposed municipal building. The complex, which would house village hall, police headquarters and the fire station, would replace outdated buildings described by Volpe as “inadequate.”

Village of Pelham Fire Chief James DiNapoli said “the firehouse is in dire need of a new home, and without this move, we wouldn’t be sustainable in the near future.”

The fire station would take up a three-floor section of the new municipal center, with the remainder of the building being two floors and a setback. Renovations of the old Chase Bank building would also include changes to the parking lot next to it on 3rd Street. The lot would be connected to the planned municipal building, with spaces being used for employees and solar panels included on top.

The firehouse would be built along Fifth Avenue, on the northern end of the site, with the police station and village hall being located on the southern end of the site, at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 3rd Street.

Further discussion and a vote to move forward with the plan are expected to occur at the Village Board of Trustees meeting on March 31.