NEW YORK CITY—Concord Capital New York, a Rockland County investment firm, is seeking approvals to build a $175 million development, centered around the Spring Valley train station. Over the last seven years, the company has purchased parcels of land and buildings surrounding the train station with ambitions of assembling them into an urban development package. All properties are in an urban renewal zone which allows for higher densities, according to Concord Capital.
Eric Jacobov, the company’s founder and CEO, is proposing a three-year plan to create an approximately one-million-square-foot as-of-right development comprising residential, multi-family, retail, office and park space. He’s also hoping for a commuter parking garage and upgrades to the current Spring Valley train station.
If the plans come into fruition, the project would likely be the largest urban redevelopment in Rockland County, according to Jacobov.
Last week, Spring Valley’s urban renewal board approved the plan. Concord Capital will next present the proposal to the village’s planning board for approvals.
Jacobov hopes to see transformation and gentrification in downtown Spring Valley, similar to New York City neighborhoods such as Fort Greene in Brooklyn. He has strong support of Spring Valley’s mayor, Demeza Dehomme. He points out that the village is at the hub of Rockland County with three major connecting highways. “Concord Capital’s well-designed transit-oriented development plan to revitalize Spring Valley is long overdue,” says Mayor Dehomme.
The developer hopes to work with the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the state to coordinate the development with public transportation, an MTA lot with a parking garage and train platform accessibility. Currently, from Spring Valley, a NJ Transit line runs to Secaucus Junction, where passengers can change trains to reach Penn Station in New York City. MTA hires NJ Transit to operate this line on its behalf.
Jacobov says he hopes Rockland County’s growing population will prompt the Metropolitan Transit Authority to establish a direct line from Spring Valley to Penn Station, allowing commuting within an hour. Currently, most residents drive or take the bus to New York City. There is the possibility of the Gateway Development Project with Amtrak, which could eliminate the need for passengers to change trains at Secaucus Junction to access Penn Station.
However, when contacted by GlobeSt.com, an MTA spokesperson noted this is a private development, and did not confirm support for any aspects of funding a garage, lot or a renovated platform.
Craig Schulz, a spokesman for Amtrak, points out the Gateway Program calls for construction of a Bergen Loop, a set of loop tracks that would connect Metro-North’s Port Jervis line and NJ Transit’s Main/Bergen & Pascack Valley (Spring Valley) lines directly to the Northeast Corridor at Secaucus. “This one-seat ride would eliminate the need for passengers to transfer at Secaucus Junction to access Penn Station New York,” he says.
However, Schulz also tells GlobeSt.com, “The Bergen Loop is in the conceptual planning stage. Funding has not been identified.”
Jacobov asserts that the development is not dependent upon getting a direct route from Spring Valley to Penn Station. However, he says, “Concord Capital is a private developer who is looking for several different subsidies from the state and federal government that go towards transportation infrastructure and actual development costs as well.”
Concord Capital plans to develop five sites surrounding the Spring Valley train station. This includes 140,000 square feet of residential buildings; two areas comprising 300,000 square feet of retail, office and residential space with train platform accessibility; 50,000 square feet of office and retail space; and an MTA lot with a two-story parking garage and a residential structure above it, totaling 420,000 square feet.
The developer plans to next present the proposal to the village’s planning board for approvals. Funding has not been fully identified and Jacobov anticipates Spring Valley’s community development office will apply for different grants.