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Massive Yonkers development site hits market

Transwestern’s Stephen Powers and Lindsay Ornstein have listed a 32-acre Yonkers waterfront development site for sale.

The property is being sold by the non-profit human services organization, Rising Ground, which is restructuring its tri-state operations and aims to use the sale proceeds to secure its “long-term financial viability and position us well into the future,” according to Matt Del Percio, president of the Rising Ground board of directors.

Known as the Leake & Watts campus, the site campus currently houses the Ames Early Childhood Learning Center; the Biondi Education Center; the Residential Treatment Center; Passage of Hope; and five residences for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Rising Ground intends to relocate those programs to other sites in New York City and Westchester.

Ariel view of the Biondi Education Center

The site – situated 30 minutes from Manhattan on the Metro North – supports 1,400 residential units as-of-right and 1.3 million square feet of development. It is ideal for a transit-oriented, large-scale residential community and could fetch north of $60 million for Rising Ground.

“The sale of the property will enable us to maximize the use of our charitable assets to further our mission, which is to help children, adults, and families rise above adversity by providing caring support and proven paths to positive change,” added Del Percio.

Rising Ground, which was originally founded in 1831 in Manhattan as the Leake & Watts Orphan House, moved to the Yonkers site in 1890. For decades, the nonprofit organization focused on child welfare, and all of its work took place on the Yonkers campus.

Beginning in 1979, the organization grew to provide a wider range of human services for children, adults, and families in need. Today, the majority of its 55 programs are sited in New York City. Last year, Rising Ground moved its main administration office from its Yonkers campus to Brooklyn to be closer to its New York City-based programs and to its government and community partners.

“The sale of the Yonkers campus is another step forward in Rising Ground’s evolution,” said Alan Mucatel, CEO of Rising Ground. “We have made many major changes to meet the realities of the day throughout our 190-year history. All indications indicate that this is a change for the better, long term.”

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