“The Enduring Mystery of the Huguenot Hills” or “Ever Notice Something Odd About Those Condos Across from Salesian”

Written By: Robert Cox

DSC_2219.jpgSpending time each summer on the waters of Echo Bay, I recall watching as the structure that was to become the Huguenot Hills development was built. Driving past I recall being amazed how the structure appeared to take up almost every inch of the parcel of land on which it was built. As it was being finished, I noticed how the sidewalk appeared to be overly narrow and the windows of the units facing Main Street were almost touching the wires of the utility poles in front of the building.

A few weeks ago a reader and area resident raised the issue of Huguenot Hills and asked me if I have noticed anything unusual about the building. I mentioned the narrow sidewalks, the utility poles and how it seems like the building covered every inch of the parcel of land. He smiled and suggested that next time I go by that I look more closely…and look up. With that he walked away.

Intrigued, I made a beeline to the building the next day. I looked and looked and looked but could not figure out what he was talking about it. I gave up and got back in my car to drive away, heading North on Main Street. It was then, taking one last look, that I saw it and suddenly realized it was the most odd thing about this very odd building.

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If you are standing on the Lispenard Avenue side of the building you cannot really notice at all — that was my mistake. You need to look at the building from the other side, over near Le Fevres Lane, the road that leads out to Five Island Park at which point the problem because obvious.

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Can you see it?

See if this helps…

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I have always wondered about this building but this is quite amazing. Apparently during a heavy rain, the roof looks like Niagara Falls to the extent the sidewalk becomes difficult to navigate and water comes down so hard it splashes the windows of oncoming drivers so that even driving past the building is a hazard.

The New Rochelle Property Portal says the building is owned by Huguenot Hills Development Corp. so I need to track them down and ask some questions. Oddly, the property portal does not have an image of the Assessment Card for 80 Old Boston Post Road so I need to get through FOIL (I made a FOIL request about all of this yesterday).

According to the BlockShopper.com web site, the building is condos so there ought to be a Huguenot Hills Condominium Association, there are also business operating out of the retail storefronts.

It is always difficult to say who owns a particular utility pole so I will need to chase down Con Ed, Verizon and maybe even Cablevision.

There are sure to be many other questions about the building but the main ones are how did this building ever get a Certificate of Occupancy with such a blatant (and dangerous) violation, what other odd variances were given (or not given), and what sort of legal liability exists for those involved in developing the property originally and those who own it now or do business there and, of course, to the taxpayers of New Rochelle who will be on the hook in any litigation against the City of New Rochelle.

This has all the earmarks of a series of stories. If you can provide any guidance or have additional information contact us. All such communications are treated as confidential and on background, entirely off-the-record, unless specifically agreed to otherwise by both parties.

Let’s mark this one “developing….”

7 thoughts on ““The Enduring Mystery of the Huguenot Hills” or “Ever Notice Something Odd About Those Condos Across from Salesian””

  1. If You Look Along the Sidewalk………..
    You can see drainpipes in the ground, all along the building, where it meets the sidewalk. You would get the impression that it was intended to capture the runoff from the roofs and decks if there was a gutter/leader system along the entire facade. I suppose Mr Young alone could tell us why the gutters and leaders weren’t completed.Don’t know how to tell if it was a budget choice, or was it left out so as not to overwhelm the stormwater system beneath the street, or simply overlooked.

    As far as the telephone poles are concerned, Mr Young spoke at our neighborhood assoc meeting a few years ago and was asked about the poles and wires outside the windows. He did say that it was looked into and the price (around $200K if I remember) to have the lines buried underground was the final determining factor for leaving the poles as they are.

    Anybody know if he’s still pursuing the deals on North Ave.?

  2. Clearly, those power,
    Clearly, those power, telephone and cable lines only a few feet from the building are a hazard. How would the Fire Dept raise an aerial ladder or ground ladders for that matter on the front of the building. It looks like a spider web on the Min St side.
    How would you like to spend 100’s of thousands and have a big transformer, pole or wiring staring you in the face?

  3. I beleive the developer was
    I beleive the developer was Bob Young. I don’t know if he still has an interest in the property, but he probably does as its tough to sell-out 100% of these projects. He’s the same guy who had the playground behind Huguenot Library redone and the same guy who wants the zoning on North Ave.(approx. the area south of Iona down to Fifth Ave) changed so he can build 10 story towers. I beleive he’s also done 1 or 2 other projects so he must be well versed in the workings of city hall.

    1. 10 to 1 odds
      It wouldn’t surprise me if “Choir Boy” Caldararo was the inspector because contrary to all his supporters his reputation is not as squeaky clean as some bloggers would lead us to believe. While you’re at it, ask Young why he no longer lives on the waterfront.

      1. I asked Mr. Young why he did
        I asked Mr. Young why he did not finish the leaders and gutters and he was non commital

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