Castles & Cottages

Yonkers Condos, Anyone?
Suburban Urbanism

Ridge Hill, the controversial 1.3-million-square-foot commercial “village” under construction across from Stew Leonard’s in Yonkers, is designed to be a suburban model of New Urbanism—where residents have most of their retail needs within walking distance in a self-sufficient community. Residents who wish to venture further afield will have free shuttle service to the Metro-North station in nearby Bronxville (it is closer than the Yonkers station). Ridge Hill developer Forest City Ratner has already lined up an impressive retail tenant list, including Whole Foods Market, L.L. Bean, and Cinema De Lux. What’s needed now are residents for Monarch at Ridge Hill, a planned $240-million, 500-unit luxury condominium complex.

The 167 units at the first of four Monarch towers planned for the 81-acre site—a 13-story, 167-unit, glass-sheathed building—are being readied for occupancy next spring. One-bedroom condos are priced from the mid-$200Ks to mid-$400Ks and two-bedroom units will sell from $400Ks to the high $700Ks.

Eldad Blaustein, a partner in the Horizon Group, Monarch’s developer, reports that the poor economy last year forced the developers to reduce the scope of the project. “I knew we couldn’t shoot too high,” Blaustein says. As a result, three-bedroom condos starting at $800K were removed from the plans.

Aging in Grace (and Luxury)

The Club at Briarcliff Manor, a $350-million, super-luxury retirement community on a 59-acre wooded site overlooking the Hudson River, is making a play for very well-heeled Baby Boomers. Indeed, with entrance fees starting at $599,999, The Club will have the amenities of a five-star resort: tennis courts, a health spa, a Tudor-style clubhouse, gardens, a surround-sound theater, hiking trails, an indoor pool, a business center, several restaurants, and a cocktail lounge.

Scheduled to open in 2013 (when, hopefully, the recession will be but a memory), the community will be located on what was once the site of the Briarcliff Lodge, followed by the now shuttered King’s College campus. Altogether, there will be 325 independent-living residences plus an onsite 60-unit supportive living center to provide assisted living and nursing care (available at added cost). The Interior Design Studio @ Bloomingdale's, W.L. Landau Ethan Allen, and J.R. Cattington Interiors have each decorated a model residence so prospective residents can envision what the finished units could look like.

In addition to entrance fees, there are monthly fees, which start at about $3,190.

Nearly 100 people have put down deposits, according to Matthew K. Phillips, founder and chief executive officer of the Integrated Development Group in Northbrook, Illinois, the firm that is leading the project.

Homes Build to Suit

They are rare commodities in the current market, now that builders aren’t doing spec homes, but two 4,400-square-foot, yet-to-be-built homes on wooded lots, bordered by a protected watershed area and parkland in the town of Pleasantville, are in the works. The homes will enable some lucky owners to step out their front doors into Pocantico and Rockefeller Parks and put their canoes or kayaks into Pocantico Lake.

Owners will be able to customize the homes, which will cost about $1.8 million each, according to Sunrise Building, the Briarcliff-based property owner and developer. Plans for each house call for three fireplaces—for cozy nights come winter. The Mark Seiden Real Estate Team in Briarcliff Manor has more details. Visit Seiden's site at



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