Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

Lower Hudson Valley TOD Plan Integrates Waterfront Access, Brownfield Remediation, Connectivity, and Placemaking

Hastings Aerial
The problem of abandoned old factories and warehouses on potentially valuable waterfronts is one of the biggest challenges and opportunities facing our region today. One way to deal with such waterfronts was demonstrated in the village of Hastings-on-the-Hudson, which lies a few miles north of Yonkers and New York City. The challenge in Hastings was a 28-acre site on the waterfront that was mostly occupied by old, delapidated industrial buildings. The biggest was an old Anaconda cable factory, now owned by ARCO. One of the most visible brownfield sites in the Hudson Valley, on-going litigation and disagreements on how the Anaconda site should be cleaned up and redeveloped, had stalled progress for decades.


Hastings-on-Hudson Project Full Report
(PDF, 20MB)

RPA Involvement

In 2000, RPA designed a community-driven
planning and design process that has helped advance goals for
waterfront revitalization and access. RPA convened a Steering Committee
and a broad-based advisory committee to provide ongoing guidance. The
centerpieces of this effort were two community design workshops that
brought together citizen stakeholders, landowners, agency
representatives and elected officials. These hands-on design sessions
were co-facilitated by planners, urban designers and landscape
architects. In the course of the two design workshops, preliminary,
intermediate, and, ultimately, final plans were developed and analyzed.
The final plan enjoys broad support and has been an invaluable platform
for the final negotiations of law suits and agency mandates for the
clean up.

Community-based Planning Principles

The RPA process built on the extensive work of the local Waterfront
Revitalization Committee. The following principles were adopted [These
are principles which could be applied to other waterfront access in the
region as well]: promote mixed-use development, preserve views, provide
public access, preserve historic character, insure viable and
sustainable development, create a pedestrian-friendly environment, and
integrate new development.

Major Dimensions of the Plan

The plan follows a roughly three-part organization: (1) the northern
part of the waterfront, the "Village" will develop as an extension of
the existing town center - as a mixed-use pedestrian-oriented place
centered around a reconfigured train station. (2) A major new public
space will extend to the waterfront to ferries and a marina, linking to
a continuous waterfront esplanade. Some of the existing industrial
buildings might be reused. Just south of this will be the
"Neighborhood" with primarily residential uses. (3) Finally, farther
south will be the "Campus," an area with major open spaces and the
potential for an institutional presence of some kind.

By creating a compact extension to the Village center, most of the rest
of the site is preserved for open space uses - a mixture of active and
passive parks, fishing piers, and places for habitat restoration and
learning.

Implementation

The most significant accomplishment has been the use of the plan to
help frame an agreement between the village, environmental advocates,
state agencies and the landowners. In particular, ARCO agreed to give
the property to the community, while paying for a combination of
capping and excavation that would make the site usable. In addition,
the station is being reconfigured by Metro North to conform to the
proposed plan. Finally, in order to completely control the
redevelopment, Hastings is investigating how to create their own local
development corporation (or LDC), one of RPA's essential
recommendations.