After a seven-year process, AvalonBay Communities Inc. has begun construction on a $77 million, 143-unit, apartment community in Harrison, N.Y., next to the Metro-North Commuter Railroad station. The mixed-use project will include construction of two parking garages and 27,300 square feet of retail space and will be completed in two phases between 2021 and 2022.
(Read also: In May, AvalonBay sold Archstone Toscano for $98 million, a 474-unit apartment community in Houston.)
AvalonBay was selected by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which owns Metro-North and the property surrounding the train station, in 2012 to develop the mixed-use project. The firm told Multi-Housing News it has entered into this type of public-private partnership with public agencies, including commuter transit authorities, in the past.
Avalon Harrison will have three residential buildings with 143 luxury apartment homes—76 one-bedroom, 59 two-bedroom and eight three-bedroom units. There will also be about 5,000 square feet of amenities for the residents, including a fitness center, lounge and community room. Seven units will be made affordable for qualified residents.
Two parking facilities will add 758 parking spaces to the area, 475 of which will be set aside for commuters and 187 for Avalon Harrison residents. The remaining 96 spaces will be for customers visiting the 27,300 square feet of new street-level retail. Metro-North will increase its parking capacity on the south side of the station by approximately 85 percent. There will also be two landscaped public plazas with direct connections to the train station.
Completion of two residential buildings, half of the retail and new parking garage is slated for completion by early 2021. The second phase is set for delivery by early 2022 and will include the main plaza accessing the south train station platform and the third residential building.
AvalonBay said the company plans to conserve energy and water during construction and use sustainable design and construction materials. The combination of proximity to mass transit and availability of bicycle parking and electric vehicle charging stations will also help make this a sustainable development.
Ron Belmont, Supervisor/Mayor of Harrison, said Avalon Harrison will help kick start the revitalization of Harrison’s downtown. Last year, the Harrison Town Council rezoned the property from a central business district to a transit-oriented district to enable the project to move forward.
“It’s the culmination of many years effort by a strong team, not only at AvalonBay but also across the dedicated staffs of MTA/Metro-North, the Town/Village of Harrison and Westchester County. We wouldn’t be where we are today without their commitment and vision to see the opportunity at hand to enable a new future for downtown Harrison,” Matthew Whalen, AvalonBay senior vice president for development, told MHN.
“It’s always been clear to us that all the right ingredients AvalonBay looks for are here to make the vision a reality. You don’t get much better than this in terms of proximity to public transit, a vibrant community and supportive leadership to see it through,” Whalen added.
Monthly rents for the apartments are estimated to be about $2,500 for one-bedroom units and $3,000 for two-bedroom units, according to the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency. In late November, the IDA approved approximately $1.4 million in sales tax exemptions for AvalonBay to develop the property.