Lower Hudson Valley commercial real estate brokers are gearing up for an anticipated boom in new leases and sales on properties near the Tappan Zee Bridge, with early signs that good times might be ahead.
"Business is picking up. What you're going to experience is a mini-boom town, a gold rush town," said Paul Adler, vice president for Rand Commercial Services.
Since Rand launched a bridge-specific website Oct. 4 -- Adler is also chairman of the company's Tappan Zee Bridge Task Force -- the company has posted information on more than 100 available warehouses, industrial spaces and other commercial properties suitable for engineering companies, contractors and service providers who will be working on the new $5.9 billion bridge.
Only about 30 of the listings on tappanzeebridge.randcommercial.com are properties Rand is handling, with the rest in the hands of rival companies. Adler said the company feels customers will appreciate the concentration of all available data in one place.
He said early interest in commercial space is concentrated on the western side of the Hudson River, in Rockland County.
"Rockland is a lower-priced market and might offer more opportunities," Adler said.
In the end, he predicted, Westchester County might emerge as the stronger office market because the county is closer to both New York City and the State Thruway offices in Tarrytown. But warehouse space is more plentiful in Rockland than in Westchester, Adler said, and is now leasing in Rockland for $6 to $8 per square foot annually.
Prime office space in Rockland now runs about $18 per square foot annually, but Westchester rates for office space can approach the mid- to high $20 range, according to brokers.
Prospective clients are shopping based on specific transportation needs, especially within the prime 5-mile ring around the bridge, Adler said. With Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowing to minimize the impact of traffic on residential neighborhoods by using barges to deliver building materials, Rockland County is in a better position to meet the needs of many contractors, he said.
He pointed out that the Westchester shoreline is zippered up by Metro-North train tracks.
Adler said that highway access will offer important advantages to construction-oriented companies as well.
"Anything on a Thruway interchange is ground zero," he said.
GOING, GOING, GONE
In Nanuet, Rockland Realty president Steve Yassky agreed that interest in commercial real estate near the bridge has been picking up. Inquiries regarding the six-building, 150,000-square-foot Airport Executive Park that his company manages have picked up, Yassky said. The 20 percent vacancy rate of 2010 gradually dropped to 10-15 percent by 2011. With an existing engineering tenant expanding and new warehouse and high-tech tenants moving in, there are now only 3,000 square feet left in this industrial park, located about 10 miles from the bridge, according to Yassky.
"A 3 percent vacancy rate is pretty much unheard of," he said.
On the Westchester County side, two contracting companies that figure as partners in consortiums bidding for the main bridge contract opened offices last summer. Granite Construction is now a tenant in a 25,000-square-foot facility at 120 White Plains Rd., in Tarrytown, where space is going in the mid- to high $20 range, said Jones Lang LaSalle managing partner Chris O'Callaghan. Granite is a partner in the Tappan Zee Constructors consortium led by Texas-based Fluor Corp.
Jones Lang Lasalle has also worked with Tutor Perini, which has purchased a $5 million, 30,000-square-foot office building in New Rochelle. Tutor Perini is partnering with Bechtel Infrastructure Corp. in a second consortium called Tappan Zee Bridge Partners.
The third consortium is the Kiewit-Skanka-Weeks Joint Venture.
The state is expected to chose one of the three as the winner of the $5.9 billion contract by year's end.
Meanwhile, there remains an "abundance" of office space of varying quality right next to the bridge in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, but very little action there at the moment, said Frank Rao, executive vice president for the New York Commercial Realty Group in Harrison.
Rao said business is still on the uptick. He said he recently sold a 70,000-square-foot Elmsford warehouse situated five miles from the bridge. Rao said he expects property values in the area to appreciate because "any properties around the bridge in Elmsford and Ardsley will benefit from a newly designed bridge with an easier traffic flow."
Brian Conybeare, a spokesman for Cuomo's bridge outreach team, said increasing interest in real estate around the bridge should come as no surprise.
"The winning design-build team will require both commercial office space and industrial staging sites here in the Hudson Valley to make the project a success," Coneybeare told Newsday in an emailed statement. "That is just one of the many positive impacts the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement will have on the local economy in Rockland, Westchester and the entire region."
After nearly three years of construction, a critical one-mile project on Route 59 in West Nyack is finally done.
All of the construction equipment and barriers have been removed from the lanes stretching from the front of the Palisades Center and Crosfield Avenue in West Nyack. Traffic is flowing smoothly over the newly paved roadway.
“It’s about time,” West Nyack resident Randy Glucksman said.
The $31 million project was scheduled to be completed by Oct. 31, although the state had been predicting it would end even earlier.
The massive infrastructure job was much more than about fixing the road. Four bridges along Route 59 were also replaced, all while traffic was kept moving.
It didn’t help that the road led directly to arguably Rockland’s most popular destination, the Palisades Center mall.
At its worst on weekday morning and weekends, traffic could easily back up more than a mile, forcing drivers to sit stuck in one lane.
Savvy drivers eventually resorted to using side streets, an unwelcome development for those living in previously quiet neighborhoods.
“When we had to go in the area, we would always go on the Thruway because it was such a nightmare to go in that traffic,” Glucksman said Friday.
The state Department of Transportation project came in about $2 million over budget. The DOT has previously said that was largely due to extra drainage and utility work, additional traffic protection and redoing some work that was damaged by Tropical Storm Irene in the summer of 2012.
A DOT spokeswoman said some minor work, such as landscaping, left that may result in a sporadic lane closures for a short time.
Aside from adding new sidewalks and crosswalks, Route 59 was raised 18 inches to aid in drainage during storms. There is a new longer merge lane from Sickletown Road onto eastbound lanes, replacing a stop sign.
“They did a nice job, I’ll say that,” Glucksman said.
The Journal New - Posted by: Khurram Saeed
See a letter from New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo thanking Rand Commercial Services for its support on building a new Tappan Zee Bridge.
wins Northeast award
Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation's Economic Resource Guide has won a Superior Award from the Northeastern Economic Developers Association. The award was won in the Literature and Promotional Awards program Community Profile category. The award will be presented at the organization's annual meeting in Hartford in October.
To learn more about the Hudson Valley:
HVEDC Resource Guide - Download here
To learn more about NEDA:
Northeastern Economic Developers Association - www.nedaonline.org
HIGH FALLS, N.Y. — The gas station in this Hudson Valley hamlet sat empty for years, leaching petroleum into the soil and well water. But a renovation that will transform the abandoned station into a yoga studio, wellness center and a charging station for electric carshas turned the eyesore into a symbol of this struggling community’s revival.
The station’s decline mirrors that of many others across the country.
Thousands of gas stations have closed in the last two decades, leaving many communities saddled with vacant or abandoned properties. Because gas stations are often built on busy street corners, boarded-up stations have marred the entrances to many bustling business districts in American towns and cities.
More than 50,000 stations have closed since 1991 when there were nearly 200,000 nationwide, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores.
The high cost of oil has made it hard to turn a profit selling gas, pushing station owners into selling snacks and soda at their convenience stores. With big-box retailers like Walmart and Costco now in the gas business, attracting customers has become even harder. Simply put, mom and pop stations that once thrived just by selling gas and fixing cars in the repair shop can no longer compete.
No numbers are available on how many closed stations remain vacant, but despite problems, the properties can be attractive to developers, especially if they are at desirable intersections.
“If you own the real estate, there’s no better time to get out — everybody wants that convenient location,” said Jeff Lenard, a spokesman for the convenience store association. “You could be sitting on a gold mine.”
But converting these sites can be challenging. They often are on small lots and may be contaminated by petroleum leaking from underground storage tanks, as was the case in High Falls.
Petroleum brownfields — ground contaminated or thought to be contaminated by fuel — make up half of the 450,000 brownfields in the country, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. As gas stations close, towns must grapple with what to do with this land. If fuel has migrated into groundwater or a neighboring lot, costs can balloon.
State and federal money available to municipalities to clean abandoned sites is limited. Federal regulations require private owners and operators to clean any spills on their property. Still, some developers are reluctant to buy old stations because of the risk that contamination could be found later and they would be stuck with the cleanup bill.
“Gas stations are the gateway to a community,” said Robert Colangelo executive director of the National Brownfield Association. “So it’s very important to get these things cleaned up.”
In High Falls, a $300,000 renovation is changing a derelict structure to a colonial-style strip of yellow storefronts with white trim that will be completed this summer. Then, charging pumps for electric cars will be installed where two gas pumps once stood. The quick-charge pumps will offer free charging to store customers and anyone else. A wind turbine affixed to a 30-foot ledge behind the station and solar panels atop the ledge will generate the electricity.
The five service bays have been converted to shops, and the garage doors replaced with storefront windows. The second floor has been turned into 2,200 square feet of office space offering views of the nearby falls. “People who come to a town like this, they’re looking for a memory to take home with them,” said Mark Robinson, who owns the property with Ronald F. Faia. “I’ve always loved old gas stations,” he added. “It’s a view into American history.”
In a village that once was home to Marc Chagall and the setting for some scenes in “Splendor in the Grass” a former neighborhood blight has become a new downtown center.
“It’s so nice. It’s part of the revitalization of High Falls,” said Michael Warren, town supervisor for Marbletown, which encompasses the hamlet.
But it is not always easy to persuade developers to invest in a property that may need costly environmental cleanup. The High Falls station cost the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation more than $100,000 to clean up in 2001, seven years before Mr. Robinson bought it.
“Whenever you see a for sale sign, it never says ‘brownfields for sale,’ ” Mr. Colangelo said.
While rural communities struggle to fill empty stations, New York City has a different problem. Property values are so high that stations are being converted to more profitable uses, like high-rise buildings, giving drivers fewer places to fill their tanks. The city had 809 gas stations in 2011, down from 872 in 2006, according to the Department of Consumer Affairs. Of the remaining gas stations, only 44 are in Manhattan.
In 2009, Eyal Shuster, a developer, spent $1 million to convert a defunct Long Island City service station into the Breadbox Cafe, which his wife, Tal, manages. A Getty gas station next door, however, is still operating. Mr. Shuster and his development partner, Moshe Mizrahi, hope to eventually build a high-rise building above the restaurant and demolish the Getty gas station.
On a rainy afternoon in June, the 48-seat restaurant was full of customers. From the street, the boxy single-story building still resembles a service station, despite the quirky addition of 1,600 rolling pins on the facade. New garage doors with large glass panes roll back, opening out onto a wooden patio. Inside, zinc countertops and mahogany paneling give the space a modern look.
“The main challenge is changing people’s perception,” said the restaurant’s architect, Eran Chen, a principal at ODA-Architecture. “How do you create an attractive food space in a place that used to service cars?”
While gas stations might be an eyesore in some communities, in others they are treasured slices of Americana. A St. Louis developer met fierce resistance when he considered demolishing a 1968 Phillips 66 station. The building has an enormous flying saucer-shaped roof. Although it has not been a gas station since the 1980s — its latest incarnation was as a Del Taco restaurant that closed in 2011 — residents saw the building as a piece of the city’s architectural history.
Rather than build anew, the developer Richard K. Yackey will begin a $1 million renovation this month on the property, which has 3,200 square feet of usable space. The roof, which is 12,000 square feet, will cost $100,000 to replace. When construction is complete next year, the station will house a Chipotle restaurant and a Starbucks and have a 1,300 square feet addition.
“If you do the math, it doesn’t make a lot of sense economically,” Mr. Yackey said, adding that constructing a building on the property would have provided him with more space to lease.
Because many old gas stations sit on small, three-quarter-acre lots, they often have to be expanded to be marketable. Buyers of old stations often angle to get the neighboring lot. But that, too, can be fraught with complications.
“Any time you’re putting multiple parcels together it becomes more difficult because you’re dealing with another seller,” said Joseph S. Botta, president of Pineville Properties, which has redeveloped several gas stations in the Philadelphia area.
In Roxborough, a section of northwest Philadelphia, developers drew the ire of local residents when they knocked down two houses next to a former Mobil gas station to make way for a TD Bank that opened last November.
“Neighbors get very concerned when you’re knocking down residential houses for commercial uses,” said Michael J. Cooley, vice president of real estate for the Provco Group, which built the bank.
But developers who cannot expand can be left with a property they cannot use. Mr. Botta said he bought eight gas stations from Lehigh Gas Corporation for $11.5 million in 2008. By June 2011, unable to expand the lots, he sold four back to Lehigh.
Mr. Botta said, “When you have a small parcel and you can’t acquire any ground, you can only build so much.”
ARDSLEY — A father’s frustration with driving his children to far-flung sports events has produced a $20 million indoor athletic center expected to open Sept. 10.
House of Sports at 1 Elm St. hopes to turn the village into a training and tournament destination with a 120,000-square-foot complex that includes a children’s nursery, restaurant, bar, fitness center and more than 100 covered parking spots. Don Scherer, House of Sports’ chief executive officer, said the idea for a sports training academy with adult-friendly services came to him while taking his son to sports events in Connecticut and New York City.
“That’s how I learned this community’s need,” said Scherer, 43, of Tarrytown, who is opening his complex in the former Selecto warehouse.
The training center will employ about 200 full- and part-time workers and will focus on basketball, lacrosse and baseball. The complex has four regulation-sized basketball courts and training baskets equipped with computer sensors to help students perfect their arcs.
The center has hired former coaches who have worked with some of the country’s best-known college teams, such as Andy Borman, who played basketball for Duke University when the school won the NCAA National Championship in 2001.
The lacrosse academy will be run by Ned Crotty, an all-American at Duke University and a member of the 2010 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship team. Crotty received the 2010 Tewaaraton Trophy as the nation’s top lacrosse player.
Scherer said the 100-by240-foot artificial turf will allow House of Sports’ lacrosse academy to raise Westchester County players’ skill levels with winter practice.
“You go down south and and there is skills-building all year round. That has impacted the ability of our kids to compete,” Scherer said.
House of Sports will open as the Town of Greenburgh is embroiled in a controversy over a proposal to put a sports bubble on land at the former Frank’s Nursery & Crafts at 715 Dobbs Ferry Road in Hartsdale. The idea is to lease the property, acquired through a foreclosure for nonpayment of taxes, to Game On 365.
Some residents oppose the proposal and Scherer called the sports bubble proposal unfair competition.
“If they don’t have to pay rent at fair market value, if they don’t have to pay taxes, if they don’t have to do (environmental review) to the same level, if their cost structure is radically different from mine, it makes it very hard for me to compete,” said Scherer, who predicted that Greenburgh’s efforts to lease the property will be found unlawful.
Rand Commercial Services hails yesterday's ruling by State Supreme Court Justice Cozzens, declaring the MTA's payroll tax unconstitutional. Since the inception of the tax, one of the top priorities of of business & non-profits was urging the State Legislature to repeal this unfunded mandate that hurt both taxpayers and business in Rockland & Westchester Counties. The MTA Payroll tax did nothing to help stimulate economic development and with yesterday's court decision it is our hope that one huge obstacle has been removed which will help business & non-profits alike grow in our region.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday afternoon in Piermont that New York State is now closer to replacing the current Tappan Zee Bridge with a new, $5.2 billion span.
The governor's announcement came hours after a unanimous vote by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) to officially incorporate the project into the council's plan.
"Today we are one step closer to building a new, safer bridge that will revitalize the Hudson Valley by creating thousands of jobs," Cuomo said at the 1 p.m. gathering in Flywheel Park.
More than 100 residents and local, state and federal lawmakers gathered downtown, overlooking the Tappan Zee Bridge to the north and local marinas.
After a brief speech, Cuomo signed a letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, applying for billions of dollars in TIFIA federal loans to help finance the new span.
"The next step is going to Washington to get funding, so we can build the bridge and make tolls affordable," Cuomo said. "After over a decade of delay caused by political dysfunction, this letter demonstrates that we are making real progress towards constructing a stronger, transit ready bridge."
When asked what financing would be in place should the state be declined federal funds, Cuomo was terse.
"I'm an optimist," he said. "They're going to say yes."
Cuomo noted the importance of mass transit, a component local residents and officials have long been asking for.
"The future of transit isn't people getting into cars and driving," Cuomo said. "It's mass transit. Period."
The new span is slated to house a dedicated bus transit lane during rush hour.
The governor recently blasted the proposed $14 toll hike in 2017 as excessive, but did not cite a specific figure that he would like to see—he only advocated a decrease.
From the New City Patch (8/20/12) Cuomo said the sluggish push to build a new bridge over the past 13 years has been time—and taxpayer money—squandered.
"We decided to waste millions," he said. "We decided to put people through traffic and congestion and pollution. It was a failure of leadership, a failure of government."
NYMTC member and Rockland County executive C. Scott Vanderhoef voted alongside others this morning. Late last week, Vanderhoef and lawmakers from Westchester and Putnam counties announced their decision to vote 'yes.'
Vanderhoef said he is pleased to support the project on the heels of Cuomo's assurances that the new bridge is to include mass transit capabilities.
"The governor should be given great credit for making it transit compatible," Vanderhoef said. "I am very pleased to be supportive."
Vanderhoef also said the federal government should assist New York with the financing of the new bridge connecting Westchester and Rockland.
"This new bridge will be safer for our drivers and built to last, and include a dedicated bus lane on day one," said assemblyman Ellen Jaffee, D-Suffern. "It will be a major economic driver for communities across the region, creating approximately 45,000 jobs."
Cuomo said the state expects to hear back about federal funding in the coming months.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact:
Vice President | Associate Broker
845-770-1205Paul.email@example.com PINCHUS "PINNY" MOROZOW JOINS RAND COMMERCIAL SERVICESNew City, N.Y. –
Rand Commercial Services (RCS), an independent and leading commercial real estate brokerage in the Hudson Valley, announced today the addition of Pinchus "Pinny" Morozow to their sales team in the
New City office.
Pinny specializes in multifamily and project developments with a strong background in residential and commercial construction.
“We are so pleased to have Pinny as an addition to our Rand Commercial Services team,” said Paul Adler, Vice President of Rand Commercial Services. “His breadth of experience and enthusiasm make him a great asset to the company.”
As a resident of Rockland County, NY Pinny specializes in all areas of Rockland County, Westchester & Orange County.
Pinny Morozow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org About Rand Commercial Services:
Rand Commercial Services (RCS) is an independent, full-service commercial real estate brokerage that serves the Greater New York area. The firm specializes in repositioning and redeveloping properties to improve their returns in addition to assisting clients with more conventional sales and leasing. RCS has nearly 30 agents in Orange, Rockland and Westchester counties, and also serves New York City, northern New Jersey and Connecticut. The company’s Web site is www.randcommercial.com
There’s been much evolution of thought during the decade-long-plus discussions to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge. Ambitious plans to overhaul the whole Interstate 287 corridor — principally by including rail or “bus rapid” transit with the new span — receded in October, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled plans for a scaled-back (and much cheaper) bridge, one designed to accommodate mass transit in the future but featuring neither bus-rapid transit nor rail at the start.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has taken heat for changing his views on the project. His spokesman, Ned McCormack, told the Editorial Board that he doesn’t see Astorino’s opinion as changing, but rather “exercising due diligence.”
Astorino has applauded the governor for moving things forward, McCormack said, and “if the governor was in (Astorino’s) shoes, he’d be asking the same questions.”
As the plans for the bridge have dramatically changed, plenty of opinions on the project have evolved.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino
“My pledge to Gov. Cuomo is that I am ready to stand with him. I am willing to invest whatever political capital I can bring to getting a new bridge built. ... The first rule is that we must have a plan that is practical enough to actually get the bridge built. Commuter rail trains over the Tappan Zee would be great to have. But how realistic is it to add $6 billion to a $9 billion project, when we don’t have the first $9 billion?” — Astorino during a June 23, 2011, speech to the Manhattan Institute’s Forum on Replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge.
“He’s got to say, ‘Enough is enough. Put the pencils down and let’s build a bridge.’ ” — Astorino during a July 2011 news conference, where he called on Cuomo to move forward with a scaled-back bridge, engineering it so that rail or bus rapid transit could be added later.
“I’m concerned that, at this point, there is no money set aside for bus rapid transit off the bridge and that there (is no) design for light-rail for commerce and or for commuter rail to get people to and from (work).” — Astorino during an October 2011 Q&A with Westfaironline.com, after Cuomo’s scaled-back plan was revealed.
I don’t think it was an outlandish request to get some information before I have to vote on such a huge project.” — Astorino on July 9, 2012, as he, Rockland Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef and Putnam Executive MaryEllen Odell called for delaying a key vote on the project.
“We can do this in stages, but let’s make a commitment to do it and let’s do it, as opposed to let’s pretend we’re going to do it and never get it done, which is really the direction the state would be going in if we don’t make a commitment from day one.” — Astorino on July 11, 2012, explaining that he wanted assurances from Albany that mass transit would be part of plans for the new crossing.
Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef
“I think the overriding theme … is that this is not about the bridge. It’s about mobility for the entire 287 corridor for both Rockland and Westchester.” — Vanderhoef in July 2007, calling for a comprehensive approach to the region’s bridge and mass transit challenges.
“You can’t just throw a bridge down there and say we’ll build the rest of it later.” — Vanderhoef in October 2011, after the Cuomo administration announced plans for a scaled-back Tappan Zee project, without immediate plans for bus rapid transit or rail.
“Government is renowned for changing the promises it makes for the future.” — Vanderhoef in December 2011, expressing skepticism about plans to build a “transit-ready” bridge now but only adding bus or rail later.
“(Vanderhoef) simply wanted to delay the vote because he felt he didn’t have the information that he needed to vote on this important issue. It’s a $5 billion project.” — Vanderhoef spokeswoman Sue Cerra, on July 6, 2012, after Vanderhoef, Astorino and Odell delayed a vote by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council.
“Given the current information and the ongoing discussions, I think I would vote in favor of moving forward.” — Vanderhoef on July 11, 2012.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
“You know what I say, ‘Build the bridge. Build the bridge.’ … I don’t want to hear why we can’t. I don’t want to hear about the problems. If that was the attitude, this state would never be this state.” — Cuomo in November 2011.
“If the county executives are each willing to write the state a check for $1 billion for construction and over $100 million for operating costs, we will move forward with (bus rapid transit). If not, the governor is committed to building a new Tappan Zee Bridge that ends a decade of delay and puts tens of thousands of New Yorkers back to work now.” — Cuomo spokesman Matthew Wing in December 2011.
“The new Tappan Zee Bridge will be built with a dedicated express bus lane (during the peak morning and evening hours).” —http://thenewtzb.ny.gov,the project’s website, and New York Thruway Authority spokesman Andrew O’Rourke, confirming an announcement by the governor’s staff on June 28, 2012.
“The new bridge will be built to last for at least 100 years, and include eight general traffic lanes as well as additional wider lanes that would accommodate a pedestrian-bike lane, emergency breakdown lanes and a dedicated bus lane.” — New York State Thruway Authority Executive Director Thomas Madison, in a July 11, 2012, letter to The New York Times.
“(We’re) starting a whole outreach program, to talk to the issues, even if we say, ‘We don’t know yet.’” — Cuomo to the Editorial Board June 29, 2012.
Business Council of Westchester President/CEO Marsha Gordon
“A crucial element of this east-west rail transit system is a direct connection between Orange and Rockland counties and Grand Central Terminal via the Metro-North Hudson Line. This new commuter rail system (represents) the best means to eliminate congestion and improve air quality along the I-287 corridor.” — Gordon, in a March 26, 2006, “Community View” co-written with Catherine Nowicki. The two served as co-chairs of the Westchester-Rockland Tappan Zee Futures Task Force.
“We need to think in a visionary way, and we have to forecast not what we need to build today but where we need to get tomorrow.” — Gordon in July 2007.
“The (Business Council of Westchester) stands behind Gov. Cuomo’s commitment to building a new Tappan Zee Bridge. … We agree that a bridge replacement, as presented, will provide a safe, structurally sound crossing with needed width, strength and components to accommodate all forms of mass transit for both the near- and long-term. The bold plans we have before us will get the bridge we need built today for the safety and security of our citizens and create tens of thousands of much needed jobs for our region.” — Gordon in January 2012.
Rockland Business Association President/CEO Al Samuels
“The business community of Rockland implores you to come up with a vision for tomorrow that includes a new bridge and commuter rail.” — Samuels in February 2008.
“Anyone who wants to add to the cost of that bridge is an obstructionist.” — Samuels in May 2012, responding to calls that mass transit should be part of the new bridge from the beginning.
“This bridge cannot be preserved in perpetuity. It must be replaced.” — Samuels in July 2012.
Journal News/LoHud.com Editorial Board
“With an eye on the emerging needs of east-west as well as north-south commuters, we think that two plans hold the most promise: either a commuter rail or bus rapid transit system stretching across the whole 30-mile corridor from Suffern to Port Chester, feeding into existing north-south rail links and crossing a new bridge.” — March 2008.
“The smartest (transit) options were Bus Rapid Transit or Commuter Rail. We got a little of both … the bus option may offer the flexibility — and least disruption to property owners — needed to create new transit stations along a tight I-287 corridor.” — September 2008.
“Mass transit needs to remain a part of the solution.” — October 2011.
“Gov. Andrew Cuomo has pledged a bridge design that will accommodate mass transit later. ... It’s too early to make that compromise. … Just like the first one, a new Tappan Zee Bridge can transform the region, if it can support smart growth. Cuomo should aim higher and seek funding for mass transit in tandem with the new bridge.” — January 2012.
“A true mass transit system — even bus rapid transit along Interstate 287 in Westchester and Rockland — would take years to plan. … The Cuomo administration should be talking more about how a transit system could be built, even if it’s much further down the line.” — July 2012.