As the fourth most populated city in New York and the largest in Westchester County, Yonkers combines the thrill of city life with the space and convenience of suburban living. The city maintains a unique blend of non-profits, commercial operations and private industries within its 18 square miles, and on the strength of its economic resources, Yonkers managed to turn a profit during the global economic struggles of the past decade.
Capitalizing on one of the greatest natural resources in the country, the Office of Downtown and Waterfront Development is reviving the industrial area along the vibrant Hudson River. Since 2008, the office has spurred the transformation of defunct buildings into active businesses, such as reviving an old trolley barn as an affordable apartment complex and fitness center. Additionally, a once-dilapidated pier now serves as a New York Water Taxi embankment for people commuting to Wall Street. These innovations attract everyone, especially young professionals, searching for affordable living in an area easily accessible to New York City.
In recent years, the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) has ensured a positive outlook for the city through tax agreements, financial incentives and tax exemptions, all ways to propel business projects forward. IDA-assisted projects in 2009 employed more than 8,564 full-time workers and created 1,300 construction jobs, rendering Yonkers the city with the lowest unemployment rate in New York. One of the biggest IDA-assisted projects was a $27 million expansion of Macy’s as part of the $350 million makeover of the Cross Country Shopping Center. This expansion is expected to create 2,220 new jobs.
In June 2010, the IDA approved tax breaks of $75 million in construction projects, such as Yonkers Honda and Quincy Apartment, Inc., the latter of which is building a cinema in the Ridge Hill Shopping Center.
IDA financial assistance is helping the Westchester Center for Independent and Assisted Living expand its community and create 75 permanent jobs, while the Greyston Foundation is getting IDA support to construct a $35 million, 12-story apartment tower as part of efforts to restore several 19th-century buildings. The IDA also offered $6 million to Diversified Heat Transfer, Inc. of New York City to entice it to relocate to its parent company’s former location.
Yonkers’ health needs are served by two outstanding hospitals: St. John’s Riverside Hospital and St. Joseph’s Medical Center, both of which have long-established reputations for technological excellence and advanced treatment. Environmentally conscious initiatives are also attracting attention: In 2009, St. John’s Riverside received the Greater New York Hospital Association Award for “Greening” and won the Environmental Excellence Award from Practice Greenhealth, an organization comprised of healthcare institutions dedicated to sustainable, eco-friendly practices.
Among Yonkers’ newest neighborhoods is Father Pat Carroll Green, 62 two-family homes centrally located on a four-acre plot of land in the heart of the city of Yonkers. This $25 million neighborhood development is part of a broader $180 million Ashburton Avenue Urban Redevelopment initiative designed to remake one of the oldest sections of Yonkers with modern affordable and mixed-income housing. The initiative has received the joint commitment of federal, state, local and private monies.