TARRYTOWN – The Washington Irving Boat Club has received a one-year license extension in which it is paying the village $2,500 a month through Dec. 31, while officials consider a second look at reimagining the Hudson riverfront property where the club has been for decades.
The village government last year sought developers’ qualifications and interest in the 238 Green St. property that includes the club's facility and restaurant on more than six acres. Five teams, including the club, formally submitted interest in September, some putting forth fairly specific concepts.
“We’re looking for more of a visionary approach to this that we really didn’t see realized in those responses,” Village Administrator Richard Slingerland told the village Board of Trustees in December.
The boat club's $2,500-a-month license extension – approved by the village trustees in November – works out to $30,000 for this year and is nearly double what the boat club paid in 2021, according to Lowell Kachalsky, who is on the boat club’s board. Kachalsky said Friday since March 2021, the village had issued a four-month license – March through June – and then a six-month license through December.
The club is fully operational and the restaurant is open throughout the winter and will be throughout 2022, Kachalsky said.
"We look forward to working with the village and participating in any workshops so that there is a unified vision for 238 Green St. that works for all stakeholders," Kachalsky said.
In addition to the license fees it pays, the club in 2021 paid $75,051 in municipal taxes, Kachalsky said in a statement, and also pays other taxes. He said the club has paid taxes on the village property for 65 years.
Kachalsky said the club provides no-cost boat ramp access to the county police, the Tarrytown Fire Department, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and other organizations, when called upon.
Slingerland said in 2020 the license fee from June 1 through. 31 was $4,814. Last year, the license was extended from Jan. 1 to June 30 for $4,814, and it was extended through Dec. 31 for $10,000.
What's next for the property?
Slingerland said Friday the village is working on putting together and issuing a request for proposals for planning consulting services relative to the Green Street property to start the process over.
"I think that issuing the [request or qualifications and interest] before we had a vision for the property, given the restrictions that it is dedicated parkland, was confusing to the companies and groups that submitted responses," Slingerland said.
A request for proposals would help define that vision and alternatives and "be a great help in helping the interested parties focus on how we can improve the park and recreation experience at this location," Slingerland said.
A draft of the request for proposals has not formally been presented to the village trustees yet, he said.
If village officials were to issue the request, it could “really take a better look at what would work for the site, what would accommodate things like global warming and sea-level rise," Slingerland said in December.
But potential reimagining or redeveloping of the area has drawn controversy from some in the public, who've expressed worries the boat club will get pushed out and the waterfront turned into something more upscale, pricing people out.
The boat club has members but it’s a place where the public can eat or have drinks with riverfront views of sunsets and the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.
The region's riverfront has experienced high-end economic development in recent years. Apartments have gone up in the West Main Street area. Farther north, the Edge-on-Hudson luxury apartments and other homes have been under construction on Sleepy Hollow’s former General Motors plant site.
Michael P. McKinney covers northern Westchester or the Journal News.
This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Washington Irving Boat Club's license in Tarrytown extended for 2022