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Wilder Balter Partners Breaks Ground on Affordable Housing in Peekskill

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday for a $50.8 million affordable housing project to be built on what had been a hillside sloping down from 645 Main St. to 638 Central Ave. in Peekskill.

The developer is Wilder Balter Partners of Chappaqua. Plans call for 82 apartments and a 142-space garage. The building is designed to be energy efficient and will include solar panels to generate much of the electricity for the building.The state’s New York State Homes and Community Renewal division is providing most of the funding with the Westchester County Housing Implementation Fund contributing $5.7 million and the county’s New Homes Land Acquisition fund contributing $2.3 million.

Partner Bill Balter said that the sloping topography made construction a bit of a challenge, but that the proximity to schools, library and the downtown made it an excellent location for the complex.

“When complete 645 Main will be home to 82 families and the apartments will be affordable at between 40 and 80 percent of the Westchester County area median income,’’ said Balter. “That translates into apartments that are as inexpensive as $900 a month including heat and hot water which is a rare opportunity.’’

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said that affordable housing allows essential services workers like nurses, firefighters and teachers who might not otherwise be able to afford market rate housing to remain and contribute to the community.

“We want affordable housing,’’ said Latimer. “You have a stronger community when you have affordable housing. It’s not ruining the community, it’s saving the community.”

Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of the Business Council of Westchester, said the project was another step forward in Peekskill’s revitalization.  She pointed to its selection by the state’s Regional Economic Development Council for its Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

“This is another example of a successful private-public partnership,’’ said Gordon. “Exciting things are happening in Peekskill.’’

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