If your commute or list of weekend errands includes a drive along the Saw Mill River Parkway through Dobbs Ferry, surely you've noticed the huge new construction site developing at Lawrence Street/Exit 16.
Demolition of the 200,000-square-foot research building and laboratory has been completed, and now the $150 million mixed-use development known as Rivertowns Square is officially up and running — and already creating traffic headaches for commuters and residents of the river towns and Yonkers.
When it opens sometime next year, the new 17-acre shopping center will feature a hotel, luxury movie theater, restaurants, boutiques and a new 5-story apartment building with 202 units. Ten percent of the apartments will be affordable, under Westchester County guidelines.
Rivertowns Square is 80 percent pre-leased, according to the developer, and confirmed tenants include Mrs. Green’s Natural Market, Chipotle, Chop’t Salad, Buddha Asian Bistro, The Learning Experience (children's daycare) and Dobbs Ferry Gym (children only). Leasing is being handled exclusively by Greenstone Realty of Manhattan.
Rivertowns will wrap around Chauncey Square, the building that's already there, with tenants that include GNC, New York Sports Club and Starbucks.
The large structure now going up behind Chauncey Square will eventually have five stories. The first floor will have retail stores, with parking and the hotel lobby on the second floor and the 138-room hotel on the top three floors. The new shopping center will have 700-plus parking spaces.
Rivertowns, which will have 116,000 square feet of retail space, is being developed by Saber Real Estate Advisors LLC in partnership with Dobbs Ferry Capital Partners LLC under the name Saber Dobbs Ferry Associates LLC. Marty Berger is a principal at both Saber Real Estate Advisors and Saber Dobbs Ferry LLC.
The developer hopes to announce deals associated with the new hotel and movie theater in coming weeks.
Because of the length of time it took for the project to get the necessary town and village approvals and resolve an appeal, some previous deals with movie and hotel companies have fallen through.
The big project was in review with various town and village boards for four years, with an enormous amount of community opposition in Dobbs Ferry as well as in nearby Ardsley. (Rivertowns is in the Ardsley school district.)
Opponents have cited increased traffic and environmental and scenic concerns, while supporters, including Dobbs Ferry Mayor Hartley Connett, have pointed to more tax revenue, the creation of about 650 temporary and permanent jobs, and shopping and cultural enhancements.
Confirmed tenants at Rivertowns Square
• Mrs. Green’s Natural Food Market
• The Learning Experience – Children’s daycare
• Dobbs Ferry Gym – Children’s only Gym
• Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance
• Chipotle Mexican Grill
• Chop’t Salad
• Buddha Asian Bistro