Demolition begins for Mount Vernon's controversial Fleetwood tower

MOUNT VERNON – Demolition has begun at the site of the future residential-retail tower in the Fleetwood neighborhood.

The Alexander Development Group and its development partners the Bluestone Organization and JP Morgan Asset Management are building a $95 million mixed-use tower proposed on the site of a defunct supermarket at 42 W. Broad St.

On Thursday, heavy machinery could be seen razing the supermarket in preparation for construction.

The new 16-story building will have 249 apartments and approximately 11,000 square feet of retail. The project also includes a renovation of the Fleetwood municipal garage, a part of which will become parking for the residents of the new building.

The transit-oriented development is a short walk from Metro-North‘s Fleetwood station.

The project has been plagued by delays. City officials and the developers originally had a ground-breaking ceremony for the project in December 2015, but legal action stopped work on the property.

There were two lawsuits challenging the city‘s approval of the tower, one by a residents‘ group and another by the owners of nearby retail buildings, said Kenneth Plummer of Kensworth Consulting, a spokesman and project consultant for the developers. One of the court actions led to an appeal, which further delayed construction.

After the legal challenges were resolved, Plummer said the developers had to go back to the banks to reestablish their financing.

Last month, Mayor Richard Thomas said his administration helped the Alexander Development Group secure financing and keep the project moving during the legal challenges.

“We had to get people in litigation to see the value this brings to the entire city,” Thomas said in December. “A lot of work was done to convince parties to drop their lawsuits and start working together.”

Thomas said he still has concerns about parking and traffic during construction and after the tower is occupied, so his administration is considering reviving an abandoned parking authority that can build more garages.

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