Project Description

Abbey at Fort Hill Residential Re-development, City of Peekskill

After completing two major developments in Peekskill – Chapel Hill and Riverbend – the Ginsburg Development Companies LLC wished to pursue development of another community on lands formerly owned by the Sisters of St. Mary. Another parcel that they sought had an existing approval already in place. The site, located on a very prominent bluff overlooking the Hudson River and US Route 9, has views for miles. In addition to the two historic convent and chapel structures, the site includes a cemetery where the remains of former sisters and workers at the former school are interred. The landmarked school, which is on a separately-owned, landlocked parcel and was the setting for the television program The Facts of Life, is currently a multi-family apartment building. The site sits adjacent to the City’s Fort Hill Park which includes Revolutionary War era artifacts. It is believed also that Revolutionary War era barracks were located in the area of the current cemetery. The site includes a great deal of sensitive sloping land and rock outcrops, requires extensive grading road construction and infrastructure work and is adjacent to dense residential neighborhoods which lie at lower elevations to the south and east. Mr. Lynch prepared a comprehensive environmental review of the property and the proposed clustered layout which incorporated the adjacent property with vested approvals for an equivalent number of dwelling units. To do this Mr. Lynch developed a framework that allowed a conceptual layout plan and subdivision for the overall property to be approved. Future sitespecific review would allow the details of development to be fine-tuned. This permitted the developer to proceed in a timely manner with acquisition of the properties and to provide the City with a commitment to conserve 40 acres of sensitive lands as an addition to Fort Hill Park.