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Old 03-31-2014, 08:45 AM
 
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The only light at the end of the tunnel in such slums is that property value is relatively cheap compared to other more desirable areas. The cheap property value can create a perfect storm scenario for developers to scoop up these run down properties in the slummy areas of Yonkers and Mount Vernon and transform them to more aesthetically pleasing real estate that could be a catalyst for more development. Heck, if ghetto and drug infested Harlem can gentrify even without the area having a good school system, why not the slummy areas of Yonkers and Mount Vernon?
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:16 PM
 
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The main obstacle to gentrifying these 2 areas is the shadow of NYC. Any large investor looking to develop properties will be worried about whether NYC will go ahead and increase its own supply of residential units by allowing taller buildings. The higher supply means more competition for Westchester properties. Now with the current NYC mayor some of these plans appear to be put on hold for the time being but who knows what could happen in the future?
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:11 PM
bg7
 
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Originally Posted by rubygreta View Post
The only place I see further gentrification is a very small geographic are of downtown Yonkers. It has the gorgeous river views, the train station, and nice restaurants. But if you drive a small distance from the core, you will find modest walk-up apartment buildings and rundown multi-family houses that are not exactly Bed Stuy or Crown Heights material. Crummy industrial and warehouse buildings also don't help.

Downtown Mount Vernon is pretty much a dump. There are no attractive homes that are waiting to be restored by professionals. It is likely to continue its very slow but very real decline.

Meanwhile, both cities have beautiful areas that will always be beautiful. Lawrence Park West in Yonkers rivals anything in lower Westchester County.
Yet Mount Vernon has some excellent old buildings: Victorian era old warehouses, factories and institutional buildings that are reminiscent of the architecture and redolent of the atmosphere so desired by creative 20-yrs back in Williamsburg, in Bushwick and Red Hook. And its cheap. If Mt. Vernon ever somehow managed to wrest a group of pioneer artists of sufficient mass from the city, that could start the ball rolling. The artists in the artists-to-gentrifiers transformation pathway (not the only pathway) don't want nice houses. They want character, soul, patina and cheap space.

Mount Vernon politicians are generally too clueless to leverage that in any way however.
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Old 03-31-2014, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Armonk NY
425 posts, read 951,586 times
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Originally Posted by VA Yankee View Post
Any area has the potential to improve, my dad grew up near the water in Port Chester. In his day that area was the poorest of the poor today there are waterfront condos and apartments...who knew. I kidded him for years they should have bought there we would all be rich now...

As another poster said there has to be a place that the lower wage earners can live, the key is rules enforcement and good police coverage. Most are trying to work and raise their family's let the trouble makers be weeded out so the decent people can live their lives.
Port Chester has come around quite nicely. Although I am not too familiar with the village of Ossining, you hear similar things about that area. These areas have hard working immigrant communities whose residents provide for their families...Mount Vernon and SW Yonkers are harder to contend with...as the mind set is more akin to Newburgh, Camden, Newark etc..As much help as these folks are given, many can't seem to or don't want to better themselves....of course many do...but the percentages of those who just don't care about or respect anyone seem to be greater in these locations. The schools are terrible and poeple are rightfully concerned about their safety and the well being of their children.

We lived in a gorgeous neighborhood called Cedar Knolls in Yonkers (Bronxville address) for 8 years and would have stayed but for the concern about school issues and a desire for a little more land.
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:44 PM
 
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I have to add that the new demographics brought the schools down, not the teachers. From what I hear there are very dedicated teachers at Mt V high who sincerely try to turn kids around. The teachers were very good, no-nonsense types when I went there a hundred years ago.

I don't want to change the subject, but improving the schools would bring people into MtV. Cut each class in half, double the number of teachers for a few years, if possible. Large classes are difficult to teach even in a good district. If each class has only 10 kids, they might make some inroads.

I'm sure there are good students there. Just a shame about the school's reputation.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:10 AM
 
Location: alexandria, VA
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Southeastern Yonkers seems like a nice place to live. Lots of Irish pubs to hang out in and have a pint or two.
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Old 04-05-2014, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Westchester County, NY -> Pinellas County, FL -> Dutchess County, NY -> Denver?
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No. Most young people do not want to pay those property taxes and there is nothing to do in Yonkers. We have moved from Europe to the the States quite some time ago and can't wait to move to Denver this year. We love outdoors/cycling so it is a simple choice. 2k (0.6%) property taxes vs 9k and up on the low end is a no brainer if you can work remotely. We will be saving a ton of money by doing so.

Yonkers did get better, more developments, a bit cleaner unfortunately taxes keep going up and demographics... Well, you know the rest. Proximity to the city? I do not want to pay $240 a month for my Metro North pass anymore... It should be even higher next year.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:19 AM
 
22 posts, read 34,791 times
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Originally Posted by roskybosky View Post
I would like to see it happen, but if you could displace the troublemakers, where would they go? My best friend's father was a politician in Westchester for many years. This was decades ago, but he said that all the higher-ups agreed to send all the "trash" to Mt. Vernon, Yonkers or New Rochelle in order to keep it out of other Westchester cities. How they managed this I don't know. People who are at the bottom of the totem pole have to live somewhere. So where would they go? And how do you separate the good working poor from the gangstas?

You'd need a developer with some you-know-whats to come in and bulldoze some old buildings and create some cool loft-type apartments at a reasonable rate. Then you'd need a killer PR campaign to let people know Mt V has changed. The location is the asset, the new buildings would need every amenity. THEN new retail would spring up.

I had a very uppity friend who took an apartment in Mt V after getting married, to everyone's surprise. But she said the building in Mt V had so many amenities compared to other apartments in other cities, that she decided to live there.

It would take time, but it could be done. As a nice Italian girl from Fleetwood, I would love to see my town turn around.

Your best friend's father was correct. MV was and is the county's dumping ground for troubled populations. There are new plans to continue this process. One is the senior overlay zone that allows the city council to override current zoning to place affordable multifamily housing where it would otherwise not be allowed. The other us the urban renewal area that will be filled with federally subsidized projects. They are even making inroads into Fleetwood with special permit projects disquised as transit hub development. When the yuppies don't come, it too will fill with section 8.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:36 AM
 
22 posts, read 34,791 times
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Originally Posted by bg7 View Post
Yet Mount Vernon has some excellent old buildings: Victorian era old warehouses, factories and institutional buildings that are reminiscent of the architecture and redolent of the atmosphere so desired by creative 20-yrs back in Williamsburg, in Bushwick and Red Hook. And its cheap. If Mt. Vernon ever somehow managed to wrest a group of pioneer artists of sufficient mass from the city, that could start the ball rolling. The artists in the artists-to-gentrifiers transformation pathway (not the only pathway) don't want nice houses. They want character, soul, patina and cheap space.

Mount Vernon politicians are generally too clueless to leverage that in any way however.


MV politicians don't want gentrification. Neither do the powerful church leaders or the family dynasties that control the city. It isn't in their economic interest. They feed well at the public trough. Until we see a complete turnover in leadership, the city won't change its direction.
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