Residents speak out against Peekskill development plan

An $8 million redevelopment plan is in the works for downtown Peekskill. The city is looking to build a combination of retail and housing space over eyesores along Main and North Division streets.

The plan calls for putting up 18 loft condominiums, four townhouses, seven rental lofts and more than 20,000-square feet of retail space. While residents like the idea of new housing, they are opposed to the city's rules for who can buy the units. The majority of the housing that is about to be built will sell for as much as $200,000 and they will only available to people in art-related fields.

Residents, however, say Peekskill needs more affordable housing units. They want the city to build houses for people who work in Peekskill and earn a meager income. Mayor John Testa(R-Peekskill) defends the city's decision not to build affordable housing units. Brickhouse says Peekskill has more affordable housing units than Westchester demands. According to the county department of planning, Peekskill's goal was to build 73 low-income housing units in the 1990s. During the decade, Peekskill actually constructed 105 units.

Ground breaking for the $8 million revitalization project is slated to begin in the Spring of 2004, and the units should be completed within two years. Mayor Brickhouse says the city is still applying for county and federal grants to help pay for the project.

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