Westchester BioTech Center Deal Approved

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On April 3, 2017, the Westchester Board of Legislators and County Executive Rob Astorino announced the successful agreement to move forward with plans for the Westchester BioScience and Technology Center on the county-owned property next to the Westchester Medical Center.

The vacant property, commonly known as the “North 60” property is to be leased to Fareri Associates to construct a $1.2 billion, 3 million square foot complex. Fareri, a premier developer with over 40 years of experience will contribute an adjacent 20 acres of property to the project. As part of the agreement, Fareri will pay rent, including a percentage of gross annual income, real estate taxes, utility charges and permitting fees. At the same time, Fareri will invest $40 million is site infrastructure, roads, water supply, sewer and storm water management systems.

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The development comprises three major, multi-phase components: West Research Village, Central Village and East Research Village. Fully built out, the new center will include 2,252,600 square feet of biotech/research space; 400,000 square feet of medical offices; a 100,000-square-foot hotel with 100 rooms; 114,000 square feet of ground-level retail space, and a 34,000-square-foot Children’s Living Science Center, a unique complex designed to promote the improvement of the health of children in the region through dynamic and interactive educational programming.

The first phase of the project will include 220,000 square feet of biotech/research space, 100,000 square feet of medical space, 80,000 square feet of shopping/ground-level retail space, and a 100,000-square-foot hotel for a total of 500,000 square feet.

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The plan will incorporate many sustainable features, such as green roofs, gardens, preservation and improvement of on-site wetlands, bio-swales and rain gardens, interpretive trails and preserving and improving forest land on site. Approximately 54% of the property—or 43.6 acres—will be preserved as open green space.
North60_Astorino2“This project is the largest of its kind every approved by Westchester County, said County Legislator and Minority Leader John Testa (Cortlandt/Peekskill/Yorktown). It will make Westchester one of the top bio-technology centers in the county while bringing in $9 million in tax revenue, $ 7 million in rent annually for the county, not to mention the boost to the local economy, and tax base for the school district and town. The biotech center will create 4,000 permanent high level jobs and 8,000 construction jobs, added Testa.”

The project will now move through the local planning process in the Town of Mount Pleasant where North 60 is located.

Project Highlights:
• $9 million in estimated new real estate taxes annually to Westchester County, the Town of Mount Pleasant and the Mount Pleasant School District (there is no residential component, so the complex will not have any impact on the class sizes of local schools);
• $7 million in estimated new annual rent to Westchester County;
• Approximately 4,000 new construction jobs;
• More than 8,000 new permanent jobs from entry-level through the professional ranks;
• Forging relationships between the Westchester Medical Center and providers and inventors of cutting-edge medical technologies and innovations;
• Creating job opportunities for students in the emerging bioscience field by forming partnerships with nearby Westchester Community College, Pace University and New York Medical College;
• Creating a new Children’s Living Science Center that will provide children with a personal awareness of health issues.

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About John G. Testa

Former District 1 County Legislator, John G. Testa is served five terms at the Westchester County Board of Legislators, spending the last 3 terms as BOL Minority Leader. John G. Testa is a lifelong resident of Peekskill who first entered elected public service as a member of the Peekskill Common Council in 1998 and then served three terms as Mayor. He previously served on the Conservation and Parks Advisory Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. John became an elected official eager to improve the City in which his family has lived for more than a century and quickly earned a reputation as a strong, independent, nonpartisan voice for fiscal responsibility. John received a BS degree in Technology from SUNY Oswego, where his academic achievements gained him induction into Epsilon Pi Tau, the International Honorary Fraternity of Technology. He earned his MS degree in Technology from the City College of New York. He began his teaching career in 1980 at Peekskill High School, his alma mater, as an instructor in Technology and Social Studies, retiring in 2013 after 33 years teaching. John has been a leader in support for the Arts Community in Westchester. He presided over the construction of the Peekskill Art Lofts, the establishment of the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, and the complete restoration of the Paramount Center for the Arts, originally a 1930’s movie house and helped bring critical funding to many Westchester programs. Legislator Testa received the “Advancing the Arts in Westchester Award” by ArtsWestchester. John has a been a leader on environmental issues for two decades and has a long record of initiatives he has supported and spearheaded. His active involvement in developing and promoting environmentally friendly policies began as mayor and continued throughout his time as Westchester County Legislator. His efforts consistently earned John the endorsement of the NY League of Conservation Voters. John’s most recognizable accomplishment has been his promotion and preservation of local history and historic landmarks, bringing an unprecedented focus on the region’s rich history, and its legacy of historic Victorian architecture. His roots in historical preservation stem from his experience as a Revolutionary War re-enactor and member of The Brigade of the American Revolution for 50 years. John was instrumental in securing the preservation of the Lincoln Depot, now the Lincoln Depot Museum, where he now serves as President. The museum was recognized in 2015 as one of The Best Museums in Westchester. He also secured the preservation of historic Fort Hill as parkland, a 40-acre parcel that was originally a Revolutionary War encampment site. Under his leadership, the United States Dept. of the Interior declared Peekskill a “Preserve America Community.” John was able to establish a record number of National Register designations of local structures, including the first Downtown and Neighborhood Historic Districts and supported the preservation of the historic Miller House in North White Plains. In 2017 John was named a “Champion of History” by the Lincoln Society in Peekskill. John and his wife of 37 years, Nancy, live in Peekskill and have two adult children, John, Jr. (fiancé Courtney Kelly) and Katy (husband Mike Mearon). John and Nancy recently welcomed the arrival of their first grandchild, Lacey Mae, in 2019.
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