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Summit/Greenfield Seeks 2011 Tax Refund

The Chappaqua Crossing owner and developer is adding the challenge to several that are pending for 2008-10.

Summit/Greenfield is challenging its 2011 property tax assessment for Chappaqua Crossing, adding another year to several pending challenges.

The property owner and developer, which filed its challenge on Oct. 13, wants an assessed value reduction from $11,503,000 to $5,541,000 for this year, according to New Castle Town Assessor Philip Platz. The tax challenge comes in addition to those being sought for 2008, 2009 and 2010.

At its most recent regular session, a week ago, the town board voted to retain the services of Lane Appraisals in fighting the challenges, which go through the state court building in White Plains.

The developer , when Reader's Digest completed its withdraw from its former headquarters, which Summit/Greenfield bought and leased back to the media company in 2004.

"We feel they're accepting the property at a far higher rate than its worth," said Geoff Thompson, a spokesman for Summit/Greenfield.

Thompson explained that the site's rent potential has been limited.

If Summit/Greenfield prevails in its challenges, which are called tax certioraris, the town, as well as the Chappaqua Central School District and Westchester County, would have to make reimbursements of funds collected.

Summit/Greenfield is also in federal and state courts over how its residential rezoning application, which proposed 199 housing units, was reviewed. The town board of the site's eastern portion in April, known as the "East Village," which only allows for 111 units. The board also voted to lift a zoning cap that limited the existing commercial property to four tenants.

Summit/Greenfield is seeking out organizations interested in leasing about 600,000 vacant square feet of commercial space, and is no longer limited by the cap. Thompson explained that Summit/Greenfield has to show, in the course of its legal action, that it is making a good faith effort to realize the site's potential. However, the developer has not been good luck in finding tenants because of the down market, according to Thompson.

Chappaqua Crossing has a total of 700,000 square feet, with only about 100,000 leased. The developer had proposed to demolish some to the space, reducing the total amount to 662,000 square feet, to make room for the residential units.

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