By Josh Sommers
Underhill Farms will enhance Yorktown Heights’ future by providing several solutions to community issues.
Underhill Farms, on the former Soundview Preparatory School property, would offer a park-like walkable community with townhomes, condominiums and apartments. The campus will include public walking trails, ponds and open space, and 17,000 square feet of retail and office space. The property would be returned to the tax rolls after three decades and generate $1 million in annual tax revenue.
There is far too much misinformation regarding the development. The facts regarding Underhill Farm’s benefits and amenities:
- Underhill Farms will restore the Underhill House to its 19th-century elegance. The first floor will have retail/office space and possibly a restaurant. The second and third floors will host office space.
- Underhill Farms will fund traffic improvements for the Route 118-Underhill Avenue intersection. These upgrades, at long last, will alleviate the congestion plaguing drivers during peak travel times. The intersection will be safer, more efficient and more pedestrian-friendly. The upgrades also will surpass what’s required to address vehicular additions from the new Underhill Farms community. Underhill Farms is contributing over 50 percent of the estimated cost of improvements, but generating less than 5 percent of the traffic at the intersection. Since 2019, there have been 27 accidents there. This includes 10 during 2019, an alarming rate of almost one a month. By 2025, the wait times for eastbound motorists on Underhill Avenue will average 67.2 seconds if no improvements are made. However, after Underhill Farm’s investment and solutions are in place, the wait time will be reduced to about 13.4 seconds – five times faster.
- Underhill Farms will construct a road to the adjacent Beaver Ridge Apartments to provide improved access for emergency vehicles. Underhill Farms also will provide 30 parking spaces for a new senior center and Parks & Recreation office. If there’s no new parking, the building for the senior center and Parks & Recreation office will not be built.
- Underhill Farm’s housing plans align with New York State’s need for new housing. Underhill Farms will have apartments, condominiums and townhouse options for seniors and younger families.
- The project aligns with the Yorktown Heights Overlay District, which encourages economic development and permits an increase in housing diversity through construction of multifamily housing.
Underhill Farms recently submitted an Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) to the Town of Yorktown as part of the state Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) process. The EAF outlines Underhill Farm’s compatibility with surrounding land uses, how it will increase housing options and drive tax revenue. It also says that dilapidated outbuildings on the property are not historically significant.
Underhill Farms will be a vibrant development. All solutions will amplify economic opportunity, pride, tax revenue and quality of life.
Josh Sommers is a project spokesman for Underhill Farm.