Developer Presents Plan to Larchmont

At a public information session at the Village Board meeting in Larchmont Monday the developer of the planned 51 condominium units of affordable housing for Palmer Avenue


spoke of his plans publicly for the first time, encountering little dissent.

"I can just tell you," said Bill Balter, President of Wilder Balter Partners of Elmsford, "in community after community where we’ve done developments, people have been pleased."

The County has informed the Village of its plan to build a 51 unit, 100% affordable housing project  on a set back tract of land near the railroad tracks at 2101-2105 Palmer Avenue in Larchmont.  The original plan, approved by in 2008 the Village Zoning Board of Appeals, was for 5 of those 51 housing units to be affordable housing.  Now it appears the other 46 will be used satisfy the Federal court order to build more in affluent areas of the County.


Balter said the plan was for a "spring start" in early March, and construction would last up to 18 months.

 "This is not a fait accompli," Mayor Josh Mandell said. "The ultimate control rests with the County," which must approve approximately $6 million in funding.

Eileen Gerspach of Stuvesant Ave. asked about the increased number of school aged children who would presumably be at Chatsworth Elementary and the District Middle and High Schools. Under the "Espisito plan," the original plan with only five affordable housing units, "the revenue was to cover 7 school aged children."  She asked if the expenses for an increased number of children (estimated at $15,000 each per year) would be "borne by the community."

Balter said, "the revenue and taxes (on the properties) shouldn’t be any different."

Several people asked about financing and marketing of the units. Rose Noonan, of  the Housing Action Council, the non profit sponsor of the development said that financing has been arranged through nine different bank lenders. Community groups and commercial media will be used to find potential buyers, who will ultimately be chosen in a lottery once they qualify financially.


As far as whether the development will satisfy the affordable housing obligation of Larchmont to the County in return for the  $1.5 million grant from the County to build the turf field at Flint Park, the Mayor said he understood it to be in effect, though he hadn’t "seen anything in writing."

A representative of the County assured him that the "Village’s support of (this) housing satisfies (the) agreement."

Russ Baldicerri, owner of Palmer’s Crossing restaurant on Palmer Ave. in Larchmont ended the public comments saying, "Since 2002, we’ve seen a downturn on Palmer Avenue. I am excited by the prospect of having a whole new community, and I want to wish you the best of luck."






  1. Given the high prices of the entrees at Palmer Crossing, I highly doubt that Russ will be serving any of these new residents living in affordable housing…

    Also, I don’t buy it one bit that there will only be “seven” kids living in the complex. What a pile of garbage. If anyone believes that, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell to you!?

    The developer needs to pay their fair taxes to make sure that the residents aren’t burdened one penny with having to hire additional teachers, staff, etc!!!

  2. What a wonderful opportunity for Larchmont to increase and diversify its population. As a former resident of Larchmont of 25 years, I’ve worked over many years to bring more affordable housing opportunties to this wonderful community. To have a reasonable plan handed the Village by a reputable company with one its principal employees a former resident who understands Larchmont is more than I could have hoped for. Communities and their businesses need housing diversity for their long term prosperity and well being. With multiple classes in each grade, Chatsworth should be able to easily absorb an average of one more student per class without hiring additional staff. I urge Larchmont to work with the developer to take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity.

  3. Three course price-fixe menu Sunday -Thursday for $26.Great pizzas and burgers for about $10. Also Friday we have a complimentary Happy Hour Buffet from 4-7. Come on over John, something for everyone at Palmer’s Crossing.

    This project seems well researched and the developer has a great reputation. Again, my best wishes for what should be a great addition to our community.

  4. To stay informed and follow the project progress, please visit our Wilder Balter Partners website and join our Facebook page. Site: [url][/url]
    Thank you.

  5. Concerned Larchmont Taxpayer December 1, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    what a horrible plan! larchmont does not need affordable housing, and cramming this social engineering project down the throats of the residents of the village is an outrage. it will add nothing to the quality of life in the village, and only bring more overcrowding to our chaotic public school situation. it means a greater strain on services, and it will further depreciate larchmont as a community relative to greenwich, bronxville, and other towns where they actually care about quality of life. if they want to do development in larchmont, it should be retail and commercial redevelopment projects that act to expand the tax base, not strain it. why our elected officials are not all over this fiasco is beyond me. and to the guy who is a “former resident” of larchmont, your comments are nonsensical. communities that prosper do not do so because of “housing diversity.” what urban economist told you that? communities that prosper do so because of fiscal polices that support commercial activity, property values, security, and education.

  6. Dear Concerned Larchmont Taxpayer: Not to be rude but you seem alittle out of the “LOOP” In case you don’t know. Westchester County had to settle with the Fed Gov about affordable housing and Larchmont is one of the cummunities which MUST add these types of developments based on the consent degress. It’s going some place in Larchmont. Not the Town, and not the Vill of Mamk OK? Got it.
    Secondly the Village got County money for the new Terf field at Flint and agreed to take over some of the County Rd. and build more affordable housing. So not sure where you have neen, what know you’re in the LOOP

  7. I think that it’s a great idea.
    Comment to John:
    We are all equal in this diverse community.i understand that you pay high taxes, but what happens to those people who have to work in this community and live in the village or town and can’t afford high end rent. These affordable homes are not just for ……what you might be thinking about, but for young, just married, just graduated, people. look at the Hommocks Apartment.

  8. This is a terrible plan. Why should we be forced to accommodate this project to settle a suit? For those of us who live near the site, why should our property values suffer, which they will. We chose the area because of the Chatsworth school and now our children will not receive the same educational benefits.

  9. CONCERNED LARCHMONT TAXPAYER December 2, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Mikemhs: i understand all of that, and am in the LOOP as it were. My point is that the village trustees, (mostly that horrid excuse for a public servant, milstein), were arguably insane for taking the money for the turf field, and then agreeing to the obligations with respect to the roadway and the low income housing. there were many other ways to satisfy the affordable housing obligations (e.g., an offload agreement) that did not involve burdensome fiscal decision making. perhaps you are not in the LOOP as to strategic alternatives when it comes to the inscrutable vagaries of intergovernmental consents.

  10. Thank you, CONCERNED LARCHMONT TAXPAYER for telling it LIKE IT IS. A turf field for the parents of rich kids in return for housing hidden by the RR tracks, all brokered by Mayberry RFD

  11. As someone new to Larchomont, I think this is an awful idea. Believe it or not, home buyers do not move in to an area with high taxes to end up subsidizing developments that cannot sustain themselves econimcally. Make no mistake, this will lower property values over time and decrease the appeal of Larchmont to new families. The idea that a development of this kind with over 50 units will only generate enough tax revenue to support 7 school aged children is laughable. Even assuming 7 children, this means that the developments gets all other essential services for free.

  12. This is a horrible idea.

    Comment to Cindy:
    We are certainly not all equal. If that were the case, we would all pay the same taxes. Also, who said this was being marketed to people who live in the community? While that may have been part of the original plan, this plan goes well beyond that.

  13. Listen, I was always AGAINST this Federal Gov/ Westchester Co. consent decree but that is what’s on the table, and it wont changce anytime soon. Thus Larchmont MUST build affordable units, so where else do you people want to put them? Is there some other part of the one SQ mile in Larchmont you prefer them? Manor Park? The Town has their units at Hommocks aptments near the school, so they are ok, the Village of Mamk has their units some place. So whether you agree or disagree with this Federal Gov/WC consent decree doesnt matter any more, Where do you want the units????? Its gonns happen!

  14. I think we have to wait and see how this plays out. It could be a great idea. It really depends on the people who come to live in the units. If the community is warm and inviting I think the people living there will flourish and be great additions. If they feel ostracized and isolated it could very well turn into a situation where new members of the community feel like they have nothing to add and friction develops. It seems to me like much of the frustration being voiced is at our community representatives. This could also be a case of “not in my backyard” a la Ted Kennedy and the wind farms in Nantucket Sound.

  15. CONCERNED LARCHMONT TAXPAYER December 3, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    regardless, there are ways to block the development. i it takes some moxie, a ware chest to pay attorneys, and good lawyering, but you could conceivably (at the least) tie this thing up for so long that it makes it financially infeasible to do the development, and then you repay the county for their “loan” for the field, and you could be out of this in 2 or 3 years. you could deed the land to a public trust so that it becomes a public park and no building could be permitted. i have seen it done, and know how it works. who’s with me?!

  16. Since I have seen 2 commenters make the same mistake, everyone needs to calm down a bit and read a bit slower. There will not be *only* 7 children in this 50 unit building. That was for the original plan, when only 5 of the units were to be affordable:

    Under the “Espisito plan,” the original plan with only five affordable housing units, “the revenue was to cover 7 school aged children.”

    You completely negate any logic, reason, or validity when your facts are wrong.

    The person posing the question wanted to know “…if the expenses for an increased number of children (estimated at $15,000 each per year) would be “borne by the community.”

    Since this is *affordable housing*, I assume the units are rentals, not condos. Wouldn’t the real estate taxes then be paid by the owner of the building? (And isn’t the owner the county?) Wouldn’t the taxes on the building be assessed independent of how many children live there? Certainly retirees, empty-nesters and other childless couples pay school taxes even though they no longer have school age children. And just in case you can’t tell, I am asking this question seriously, not facetiously.

    editrix thank you for clarifying for the readers. you are correct that the “7 children” was only under the plan for 5 homes. But the units will be OWNED, not RENTED. Please see our first article outlining income requirements.

  17. These comments are riddled with errors.
    I suggest that, before making more of them, the authors read the numerous articles about this project that have appeared here and elsewhere in the press.

  18. As I recall the original mandate, it was not sufficient for the housing to be “affordable” … it had to be occupied by the groups that are under-represented in the offending communities. Is this correct? Not sure our pols would be transparent on the issue, but that’s what I recall. Can anybody confirm or clarify?

  19. The original Esposito plan had no “mandate”, they threw in a couple of units of “workforce housing” to get all of the various boards OK’s. This new project (via the federal judgement) is to bring in under represented groups into the Village. Since the project was previously ok’d, it will be difficult at best to get it turned around at this point.

  20. CONCERNED LARCHMONT TAXPAYER December 13, 2010 at 10:05 am

    that larchmont would even agree to this is humiliating. kiss the value of your home good bye!

  21. Disgusted by Selfish People December 17, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    “that larchmont would even agree to this is humiliating. kiss the value of your home good bye!”

    Really, what low-income person would want to live with such arrogant, selfish people???

    P.S. VERY glad I don’t live in LArchmont, and now I will be sure to stop visiting and eating there, too. Hope that helps your taxes!

  22. [quote][i]What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?[/i]
    – Henry David Thoreau[/quote]

Leave a comment