Sunday, July 17, 2016

Monsey Here We Come ....600 more units on route 59 .... no concern for potential horrific traffic conditions

A rendering from the proposed Town Square Residences.
A Ramapo developer has proposed a 600-unit housing complex spread over more than three-dozen buildings off Route 59 at the site of the old Rockland Drive-In Theatre.
Joseph Brachfeld of Wesley Hills said his Town Square Residences would be a mix of rentals, condominiums and brownstones that would be part of an integrated community including pedestrian walkways and green space. Pricing for the units has not been determined.
He called the area "the gateway to Monsey" and said his proposal would create much-needed housing and improve a site that's been unused for nearly 30 years, after the drive-in went dark in 1987.
Brachfeld's firm redeveloped the former Pathmark shopping center into the Town Square next to his proposed development, which has more than 30 stores including the Evergreen supermarket.
The 23-acre parcel he is eyeing for housing is currently zoned for commercial stores. Brachfeld wants Ramapo to create a new zoning classification — transit oriented development — for his project.
He said Town Square Residences is designed to capitalize on nearby shopping, a park-and-ride lot and a proposed bus rapid transit hub that would be completed when the new Tappan Zee Bridge fully opens in 2018.
A state Department of Transportation spokeswoman confirmed there is a proposed bus rapid transit stop near the Monsey Park and Ride lot, but said details had not been finalized.

Brachfeld's proposal for Town Square Residences includes:
One six-floor building with commercial space on the first floor topped by five floors with a total of 140 one- and two-bedroom rental units.
  • Two six-floor apartment buildings with a total of 210 rental units.
  • Five condominium buildings with courtyards, each one three floors with loft space, containing a total of 160 units. The condos would be three- to four-bedroom units.
  • 30 four-floor brownstones that would be individually owned and could be used as a single-family homes or contain one or two rental units.
  • 619 parking spaces.
The builder said the height of his buildings would be lower than some of those nearby, such as a pair of seven-story apartment buildings on Kennedy Drive and the Esther Dashew senior apartment building, which rises eight stories.
Brachfeld recently submitted a petition requesting the zone change to the Ramapo Town Board, which will refer it to the Planning Board. Input from a variety of government agencies and a public hearing would be required before the change could be approved.

'Blight on our community'

Ramapo Deputy Supervisor Pat Withers called the property "a blight on our community for decades since the theater closed."
Withers called the plan "visually stunning" and praised it for encouraging public transit and creating a more vibrant downtown Monsey, but added that it may be larger than the area can accommodate.
"While the site cries out for redevelopment, I will only support a plan that helps to alleviate Route 59 traffic, not one which aggravates it," he wrote in an email.
Brachfeld's planners claim their housing plan would have less of an impact on the congested stretch of Route 59 than if the land were developed for other commercial purposes. Adding a right-turn only lane into the shopping center and housing complex and synchronizing the traffic signals would be an improvement, they said.

Sign of the past

The Rockland Drive-In Theatre sign  — now rusted and slightly tilting — still stands at the property's entrance. The former drive-in is now used as a park-and-ride lot maintained by Rockland County.
Portions of the land are overgrown with trees and weeds, and a handful of shipping containers are stored in the rear of the property.
On a recent weekday afternoon, Fritz Duterlien, 55, of Spring Valley was working as a taxi driver at the Town Square shopping complex.
“I think 600 units is going to cause more traffic but … we need housing, because the population is going up, so we need more houses,” Duterlien said. “But if it has to be some new development to come here to help people find a place to live, it’s good, but it has to be very open to the public.”
Rachel Singer, 26, of Monsey was pushing a shopping cart full of groceries. Singer said she was reflexively against any large development because she said it would add to traffic and draw more out-of-towners to an already congested area.
“Bad idea. I would vote against it,” Singer said. “The congestion here (on Route 59) is already so bad.”

Shopper Ken Schaum, 55, of Wesley Hills, said the infrastructure couldn’t handle the addition of cars and school buses that would accompany a development of that scale. Schaum said he would rather see the area turned into green space or something for entertainment purposes.
“There’s not enough space,” Schaum said. “Route 59 is bad enough coming on a Friday between 12 and 2 o’clock. You can’t drive over here. It’s too congested.”
Ryan Karben, a lawyer for Brachfeld, said the complex would be open to everyone in the community and said Brachfeld was exploring whether to include an affordable housing component.
He said Brachfeld's plan was preferable to subdividing the parcel piece by piece, which he said would be a recipe for a lot more controversy.
Karben acknowledged that proposing a development of this size in a town where zoning was a flash point will touch off a "robust" public debate.
"We all know the politics of the situation," Karben said. "There's obviously a vigorous debate going on about preserving Ramapo. There needs to be a parallel conversation about improving Ramapo and those are not contradictory conversations.
"Obviously we appreciate the political climate, which is heated, but we don't think that all of that heat should drown out the light of a well planned project which offers infrastructure improvements and quality housing."


Aaron Weed Smoker said...

If you are against Monsey turning into a Hasidic shit hole of garbage, dirt, congestion, confusion, high prices, welfare fraud, and crooked politics, then you are an anti-Semite, plain and simple. The ONLY reason people are against these developments, which belong in a big city where there is infrastructure in place for the dense population, is anti-Semitism! Let's continue the trend of turning Monsey and all of Rockland County into one big Hasidic controlled shit hole! That's progress!

Sam said...


Fresser Developer said...

Do you know how many people have been buying in Monsey lately but then no yeshiva will take their kids? They end up renting out the Monsey house AND staying in Brooklyn as renters themselves.

Anonymous said...

Curb Your Enthusiasm is my point. And why are you quoting Somebody That You Used To bash. Unless you believe in Repentance, which I'm sure you do. In that case attack the continuing sinners, like the shmucks that talk throughout davening.

Anonymous said...

Monsey would have been better with a superwalmart! At least it would have benefited the whole of rockland!