MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Architect Nima Badaly told the Mount Vernon Planning Board on Wednesday night that the owners of a vacant office building would like to turn it into a senior citizen living facility and space for Westchester Community College (WCC) including a new parking lot.
Badaly said that the building at 15 S. 5th Ave has been gutted. The plan would be for the top two floors to be used for senior living while the bottom floor would be used by WCC after it moved from its current Gramatan Avenue space into the new location. The bottom floor would also include a café open to the public.
The proposed parking lot would contain 23 spaces, two reserved for handicapped parking and the rest for senior citizens living at the facility. WCC students would park in nearby municipal lots. Badaly said that hedges would be planted at the rear of the building on S. 6th Ave. and lighting and drainage would be added. Badaly said that four streetlights were proposed by the city but placing two streetlights about 200 feet apart should work.
“The streetlights proposed are a little less luminous than those on the street so to have that many at 50 feet apart probably is more than it should be,” Badaly said.
Planning Board Member Marcus Griffith said that there has to be a decent amount of separation and protection from the section of the parking lot that faces a playground. Badaly said that each parking spot would have a curb stop separating the parking lot from the playground as well as a fence.
“It would have double protection,” Badaly said. “People will not be zooming into the parking lot because of its layout. The vehicles would be moving at very minimal speeds to begin with when they turn into it. We can also make the curb more heavy duty and taller which is very substantial if the city would like.”
Planning Board Chair William Holmes said that this project has the potential to transform the area.
“It is an important area of the city,"Holmes said. "A lot of people come there. This is an opportunity to transform this area.”
The proposal will continue before the Planning Board at itsmeeting next month.