Mount Kisco's Village Board of Trustees voted Tuesday night to authorize selling an obscure piece of land the village owns in Bedford Hills to developer Diamond Properties.
The sale, which will be for $1,325,000, is for a property that is adjacent - it's to the west - of Diamond's Bedford Green on 117, a shopping plaza anchored by tenants including Shop Rite, CVS and Panera Bread. Diamond has owned the plaza since 2008, according to a previous Patch report.
The site, which is also east of the Saw Mill River Parkway and south of Green Lane, has a long history for Mount Kisco. According to Village Attorney Whitney Singleton it was acquired in the 1930s for use as a well water site. The property's water supply purpose, which also served Bedford, ended about two decades ago when a federal court order forced it to cease due to contamination.
The land is about two and a half acres, according to Singleton. Its current uses include a soccer field for the village, an ongoing lease for an existing cell phone tower, and easements for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) so it can install and reach electrical substations. Diamond Properties has agreed to continue allowing the soccer field for at least five years.
Jim Diamond, who is an owner of Diamond Properties, stated that the acquistion is because the site is next door to the plaza and serves as a place for additional parking.
"We’re interested in acquiring this property because it is adjacent to our existing property," he explained "We intend to maintain the property and soccer field largely as is, except that we would like to improve the aesthetics along the back of the Bedford Green shopping center in the same way we have improved the front, including by upgrading the site landscaping. We’re also interested in potentially adding some additional employee parking at the site and this additional land will enable us to do it in a well designed way."
The deal is expected to close around Jan. 1, 2013, Singleton said, although the date can be changed. Diamond has already signed the contract and provided a check for a $100,000 initial payment. The trustees' vote, meanwhile, authorizes Village Manager James Palmer to sign the deal on Mount Kisco's behalf.
Meanwhile, the village is working out a deal with Diamond to extend a lease it has on another soccer field, which is next to the developer's 333 N. Bedford Rd. commercial plaza in Mount Kisco.
The deal is good news for the village. According to Mayor Michael Cindrich, the sale price is higher than the site's appraised value, which he said was made around 2006-07 during a stronger real estate market.
“It is a beneficial deal, in my opinion, for the village," Cindrich said. He noted that the village had considered selling the property for about seven years. Cindrich also said that Diamond was amenable to leasing or subdividing the site.
The proceeds from the sale will not go into Mount Kisco's general fund, Cindrich said. Rather, the majority of it will go into designated funds, including reactional use. The mayor also said that the money can be used for future land acquisition inside the village boundaries.
A copy of the deal can be read here in the packet of the village's meeting agenda.