With Millennials out-priced by soaring rents in Brooklyn, and projections of one million more people moving to the metro New York area in the next decade, the pressure is on for more transit-oriented development (TOD) and updated infrastructure in Westchester County.
“Everything we are seeing says we are going to have to grow,” said Joseph Giulietti, president, Metro-North Railroad, and a featured speaker at the WCA Economic Development Task Force meeting on June 4. This is where leading commercial developers, regional authorities, and Westchester’s business leaders discussed the next phase of the BLUEPRINT for Westchester, the WCA’s aggressive campaign to drive economic vitality in Westchester and the region.
Peter Johnson and Peter Chavkin, representatives from SunCal, were also on hand to talk about their waterfront development, Edge-on-Hudson, in Sleepy Hollow, an example of TOD attractive to Millennials and Young Professionals.
Metro-North ridership is rising, Giulietti reported, with more riders traveling to Westchester’s suburbs. “Those trips have risen by 273 percent in the past 20 years,” he reported. He said that traditional commutes to Manhattan account for less than half of all MNRR ridership and reverse commuting is some of the fastest-growing type of travel on Metro-North. He also highlighted the mixed-use development underway at the Harrison train station, which has spurred private development at a dozen others.
Attracting Millennials to Westchester’s Urban ‘Burbs
Peter Johnson reported that SunCal’s massive, $1 billion mixed-use development is set to begin this year along Westchester’s Hudson River shoreline, with the potential to attract Millennials seeking vibrant living communities. Edge-on-Hudson, which sits squarely between two Metro-North stations in the Village of Sleepy Hollow, will eventually include over 1,000 housing units, retail, commercial, and entertainment space, a hotel and conference center, 24 acres of parks and gardens, and a commute time to midtown Manhattan of 37 minutes.
According to Marissa Brett, WCA president, all signs point to a further revitalization of Westchester’s Urban ‘Burbs.
“It is hugely important for the county to have solid infrastructure and vibrant communities that appeal to and support Millennials, now the largest generation in the American workforce and key to Westchester’s future,” she said. “Our scenic waterfront and rail lines are rich and vital resources that will draw new residents and stimulate future economic growth in Westchester.”
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