YONKERS, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Government officials from the City of Yonkers, County of Westchester and State of New York joined Bruce Ratner, Chairman and CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC), today as ground was broken on Ridge Hill, a dynamic and diverse mixed-use project in Yonkers.
“This is a tremendous day for Forest City and the City of Yonkers, and I want to personally thank Mayor Amicone, City Council President Lesnick, and the entire Yonkers City Council for their leadership in making this day possible,” said Bruce Ratner, Chairman and CEO of FCRC. “Ridge Hill will be the next great shopping and entertainment destination in Westchester and we are very pleased to be a significant part of Yonkers’ continuing resurgence.”
Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone said: “As we have said all along, Ridge Hill will bring thousands of jobs and millions in tax revenues that will help deliver the kinds of quality services—including a great school system—that Yonkers residents deserve. I want to congratulate a very dedicated group of professionals at Forest City Ratner, many of whom I have had the pleasure of working with very closely over the past few years. I have every confidence that they will deliver a world class project and leave an indelibly positive mark on Yonkers for decades to come.”
Work began on the site in the spring of this year when construction workers began clearing the site. In August of this year, FCRC closed on a $630 million construction loan, marking the largest single construction loan in the company’s 20-year history. Today’s formal groundbreaking signified the start of the major construction work on the site. Ridge Hill is slated to open in late 2009.
"This development represents a major investment in the County, which is yet another sign of Westchester's strong economic base, and emphasizes the tremendous confidence the business community has in the City of Yonkers. The projected increase in the tax base and the number of tenants identified for the Center reinforce the reputation of Westchester as a place to do business and a destination for major retailers," said County Executive Andy Spano.
The first tenants of Ridge Hill will include: a 12-screen National Amusements cinema, Whole Foods Market, and retailers L.L. Bean, Banana Republic and New York & Company. It will be the first L.L. Bean store in the tri-state area. Additional tenant announcements are expected later in the year.
“Community involvement has helped make this a better project as FCRC has committed to various transportation and environmental goals,” says Yonkers City Council President Chuck Lesnick. “We can all agree that the creation of jobs, housing and tax revenue are necessary to continue moving Yonkers forward.”
Located on 81.4 acres in the largest city in Westchester County, one of the nation’s premier markets and most affluent suburban areas, Ridge Hill will feature 1.2 million square feet of retail development including shopping, restaurants and entertainment. Ridge Hill is also expected to generate a tremendous amount of tax revenue and create thousands of jobs.
Another key facet of Ridge Hill is housing – it will contain 1,000 residential units, of which 200 units will be for over-55 active adults and 135 units will be affordable units. The project also includes approximately 156,000 square feet of office and research facilities and a hotel and conference center.
“For years, this site sat relatively undeveloped,” Mr. Ratner continued. “But now we are able to make it into an exciting and dynamic destination. Between the thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in taxes this project will generate, Ridge Hill will have a tremendous and positive impact on all of Westchester.”
With direct access to the Sprain Brook Parkway and the New York State Thruway, Ridge Hill is highly accessible to the more than two million residents who live within a 20-minute drive. FCRC is making $35 million worth of traffic improvements to city roads, the largest investment in Yonkers infrastructure by a private developer in the city’s history. Parking spaces will be conveniently located on the internal streets close to shops and restaurants and ample parking will be provided in covered and uncovered parking facilities located primarily along the perimeter of the site.
The design of Ridge Hill will be patterned after a classic town center, with traditional architecture, a landscaped town square, and a pedestrian-friendly streetscape. Entertainment options, such as a cinema and restaurants, will expand its appeal to people of all age groups. The project’s components complement each other to form a harmonious design with maximum accessibility and convenience for shoppers, guests and employees.
About Forest City Ratner Companies
Forest City Ratner Companies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Forest City Enterprises, owns and operates 32 properties in the New York metropolitan area.
Forest City Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:FCEA) (NYSE:FCEB) is a $9.5 billion NYSE-listed national real estate company. The Company is principally engaged in the ownership, development, management and acquisition of commercial and residential real estate and land throughout the United States.
Safe Harbor Language
Statements made in this news release that state the Company’s or management's intentions, hopes, beliefs, expectations or predictions of the future are forward-looking statements. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements due to various risks, uncertainties and other factors. Real estate development risks and factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the inability to secure sufficient financing on favorable terms, construction risks, increases in commodity costs, the inability to obtain required governmental permits and authorizations, the inability to secure tenants or anchors for the project, the withdrawal of a prospective anchor or project partner, opposition from third parties, competition in the target market, economic conditions in the target market, the adverse impact of environmental matters, softening of the housing market, and other risk factors as disclosed from time to time in the Company’s SEC filings, including but not limited to, the Company’s annual and quarterly reports.