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Developers Seek To Buy Local YMCA For Arts District In Westchester

The proposed building on South 2nd Avenue where the arts district would be constructed.
The proposed building on South 2nd Avenue where the arts district would be constructed. Photo Credit: Contributed

A potential sale of the old YMCA building may have paved the way for the Mount Vernon City Council to review a proposed multi-million dollar transit-oriented arts district on the South Side of the City.

Earlier this year, developers proposed the purchase of the property, paving the way for an ambitious development that would be built around the library, a short walk away from the Mount Vernon East Metro-North train station.

The proposal was first laid out last year, and it will be presented to the City Council on Wednesday for approval.

According to officials, the district will be centered on a multi-use apartment, retail and arts complex on the site of the old YMCA. The proposal includes 320 units of affordable housing, green technologies and several small shops selling goods and services from artists living in the building. There would also be a performance, rehearsal and display area for local musicians, dancers and artists.

Developers noted that the “rent structure will be geared to attract artists, who can turn their skills into hours of community service, which can then be applied to obtaining discounts on rent.”

The developer, New York City-based S Square CMV LLC is seeking approval from the City Council to buy the former YMCA building for $1.2 million and have the property rezoned. Under the current zoning, mixed-use structures are not permitted.

“This is a project that will infuse the neighborhood with a hip and youthful vibe and inject new dollars into the local community,” Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas stated. “This is a great example of how art and commerce can come together to move Mount Vernon forward.”

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