Esopus Town Board members got a first look at a 16-unit development featuring townhouse apartments, two commercial spaces and a small park with public access that would be built on a wooded lot next to the Port Ewen Diner opposite town hall.
The developers are Andrew Wright and Sonia Lemus-Wright of Wright Architects, Esopus residents with an office on Fair Street in Kingston. The wooded parcel at 289 Broadway (9W) was previously the site of a proposed Dunkin’ Donuts. Some of the trees have already been cleared, but the project is only in its early stages, with numerous approvals needed to be built.
The development would include 12 townhouse-style apartments, each with private access from a parking lot in the back and a back patio area facing 9W and screened by trees. Another mixed-use building would include two commercial spaces on the ground floor facing 9W, and four apartments on the second floor: two two-bedroom and two one-bedroom units. In the basement there would be a common room for tenants with a lap pool. Between the townhouses and the mixed-use building, a ramp would connect the sidewalk along 9W with a “pocket park” consisting of a gazebo with a seating area.
Wright said they chose the townhouse design because as the pandemic unfolded last year, “it became very clear that people like their own door to their own home. That is going to be a truism that’ll carry forward in our time here.”
The estimated rent for the townhouses would be $1800-$2000 per month, with a little less for the two-bedroom units in mixed-use building. Two of the four units in the mixed-use building would be set aside as affordable housing.
Town Board members were complimentary toward the project, noting that the preliminary plan cited town regulations concerning stormwater runoff and requirements. Several were happy to hear the developers were not seeking any tax breaks at this time.
Due to specific requirements under the town’s zoning for this property, after this initial pre-application meeting, the review process will require approval of a sketch plan by the town board, followed by more review by the planning board, then back to the town board for a decision on zoning, then final site-plan review by planning board.