Peekskill Mayor And Council’s Secret Plan to Spend $900,000 to Relocate Homeless Shelter Exposed

Homeless ShelterAfter a flood of emails pleading for our help we put aside the other investigations we are working on for this breaking story that has Peekskill residents up in arms, especially those living on the South end of the city. Why? Because the Mayor and City Council have secret plans to relocate the homeless shelter to Washington Street! Well, it was secret until now.

The Peekskill Jan Peek Homeless Shelter has been operating for close to 30 years on the end of North Water Street in a former manufacturing building. It is a Westchester County subsidized facility run by the organization called Caring for the Homeless of Peekskill or C.H.O.P. It is part of the county network of facilities and is meant for housing county homeless involved in drug and alcohol abuse. Despite the misleading name, it is not a facility for “Peekskill” residents so it really didn’t need to be located in Peekskill at the time. The owner of the building needed a tenant that could pay the rent on time so he could bide time until he could get the approvals needed to knock the structure down and build a multi-story high end condominium complex. InsidePEEK has learned that the owner tried multiple times to have his project move forward, only to be thwarted by such things as NYS environmental laws and lack of cooperation from Metro North Railroad and others. Finally realizing his big dream and huge payday was never going to happen, he recently sold the building to a Yeshiva from Rockland County who plans on creating a religious school at the location.

This causes a problem for the homeless shelter. After being thrown out by the new owner they need a new location. This is at the heart of the breaking story.

First, a few basic questions and answers: Q -Does the shelter need to stay in Peekskill? A – No. Q – Will the Westchester County funding continue if the shelter moves to say, Ossining, Croton, or Briarcliff for example? A – Yes. Q – If it is not in Peekskill will there be homeless people roaming around Peekskill? A – No, in fact it will eliminate homeless people presently roaming around since the facility will be somewhere else. They are forced out of the shelter during the day and roam around the downtown. Q – Does the City of Peekskill have any oversight, management agreement or responsibility to facilitate the shelter relocation? A – No, in fact, the City has no role in keeping the shelter in Peekskill and no responsibility in the relocation decision or process – unless….

Mayor and Council Give Behind the Scenes Support

InsidePEEK has learned that the shelter management has told some people quietly that the Mayor and Council have offered to help keep the shelter in Peekskill by using City of Peekskill funds to purchase a building for them! Yes, using taxpayer money to purchase a building and rent to the homeless shelter. Wait just a minute! Is that legal? Why hasn’t it ever been mentioned publicly? Wait, there is much more to the story…

Democratic Party and Other Connections

InsidePEEK has discovered that over the last decade, the homeless shelter (specifically C.H.O.P.) has become an extension of the Peekskill Democratic Party. Just like the school district, the party has gained full control of the board for the facility and has used it for jobs, fundraising and local influence for their candidates and friends. It is so important for them to keep the shelter in Peekskill that Mayor Noodle has a good female friend of his, who happens to be a real estate agent, quietly looking for a building for the City to buy. InsidePEEK was told by a few of our readers that this real estate agent was actually Noodle’s girlfriend. We can positively state that this claim is false. She is not his girlfriend but a very close personal friend nonetheless. Wait – she found him a building…

The Washington Street Location

The location she found is located on a very visible and busy part of Washington Street, 851 to be exact. It is a former warehouse and wholesale operation for model train enthusiasts and retailers. It has ceased operations and is looking to sell the building. And the price – $900,000! Yup, the Mayor has already agreed to pay full listing price. Close to $1 million dollars for a building to house a homeless shelter. Not to mention the exorbitant cost of renovation and creating a residential facility. Speaking of that…


Real Estate Listing Wash St


Issues with the Purchase and Relocation

Once the City purchases the building taxes are stopped. Any building owned by a municipality is exempt from paying taxes. According to the real estate listing, that is $33,387 a year subtracted from city revenue, not to mention the increase in debt the city will have to pay. Oh, and the City Council will also have to vote to change the zoning to allow such a facility in that zone. How was all this going to happen without anyone finding out? InsidePEEK has learned that the Mayor wants the transaction to occur in December – after the 2019 Budget is adopted. Why? Is he looking to hide the finances for this purchase somewhere in the budget and not bring attention to this plan until after it is completed? Very sneaky to say the least. InsidePEEK has also learned that the current owner of 851 Washington Street is not happy about waiting until December. Understandably, they want the deal done so they can move on.

Final Thoughts

Luckily, the Democratic Party plan has been discovered, hopefully in time to stop it. It is obvious the Peekskill Democratic Party does not care about the south end of the city. They already lied to the area residents once before when former Mayor Foster and the Democratic Council promised the Centennial Firehouse would remain in operation once the new fire station opened. That will not happen. The firehouse will no longer be in operation, putting the residents on the south end at risk. It is also the area of Peekskill not within the Peekskill School District. It resides in the Hendrick Hudson district. The Mayor, council and the entire Democratic Party have been very open and clear that they only care about the Peekskill School District, they couldn’t care less how the reduction in taxes affects homeowners there. They also have no concern about how the dozens of drug and alcohol patients they plan on housing on Washington Street will affect the quality of life and safety in that area. Not to mention the drop in home values.

Maybe it is time to relocate the shelter outside of Peekskill. That would give a much better opportunity to find the right building and location. InsidePEEK realizes homeless shelters are needed but Peekskill already contains an inordinate amount of social service programs and facilities. Losing one of them is not necessarily a bad thing.

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2 Comments

  1. Mike Hackett

     /  June 26, 2018

    I had an interest last year in that building. Met and spoke to the owner last year. He was asking $700k only last year. Now it’s $900K?!? Is that because it’s tax payer funded?

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  2. Donaldo

     /  June 28, 2018

    About 45 years ago, Subaru used this building as their Eastern parts distribution headquarters. Too bad they didn’t stay in Peekskill. Meant jobs for Peekskill people. Where the homeless shelter has been was home to a very famous firm known as Ednalite. Made optical equipment that helped us win WW2. They trained Peekskill folks for the high tech industry of the day. Really nice people. My father used their lenses and I remember ones with a gold color anodized aluminum tube. First rate products. Later on it was difficult for them to compete with prices of foreign items.

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