$16 Million Sale of Six Acre Property Allows for Continued Revitalization of Downtown Yonkers

Rendering of Chicken Island Master Plan (Photo: AMS Acquisitions)

YONKERS, NY – October 29, 2018 – Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano today announced the sale of the downtown parcel commonly known as “Chicken Island” to developer AMS Acquisitions LLC.

AMS Acquisitions agreed to purchase the six acre property from the City for $16 million. AMS and the City have signed a letter of intent for the sale of the property, with AMS paying an $800,000 deposit. The balance of the funds will be paid once the sale is approved by the City Council.

“Seven years ago the Chicken Island redevelopment plan was dead,” said Mayor Spano, referring to a former plan to build a minor league baseball stadium on the site. He added, “Now we have a workable plan, backed up with hard dollars that the City can use in the short run to fund our schools and essential services, and in the long run we will collect many millions of real estate and income taxes plus take another giant leap forward in revitalizing the downtown.”

“The City has tried for more than 40 years to develop Chicken Island without success,” said Spano, adding, “This is a game changer for Yonkers, because it proves economic development and a growing tax base is possible beyond the waterfront.”

“This plan is hard evidence that Yonkers has turned around and that it is where investors and residents see a bright future,” said Mayor Spano. Mayor Spano also noted that the plan will require that ten percent of all units be affordable and rented to persons with moderate incomes.

Mayor Spano added, “AMS Acquisitions has proposed a comprehensive development we feel will provide our city with new opportunities that will attract local and regional visitors to Yonkers and truly make us a destination. We are excited to finally put for bricks and mortar on the ground.”

AMS Acquisitions’ vision for “Chicken Island” is it to become the epicenter of the downtown, with a concentration of shopping, dining and experiential retail, coupled with multifamily buildings, an office component and a luxury hotel.

“Downtown Yonkers is in the midst of a renaissance,” said Michael Mitnick, Principal, AMS Acquisitions LLC. “AMS is invested heavily in the growth and expansion of this incredible and unique market. An abundance of culture, diversity and history, combined with a beautiful natural landscape, and robust development is fueling the success of this City.”

Coined “Chicken Island” in the late 1800’s when a small island in the Saw Mill River was used as a local chicken farm, the six acre site is located to the north east of Yonkers City Hall.  The site is zoned D-MX (downtown mixed use zoning) a high density zone permitting development up to 25 stories and which permits a wide variety of uses including retail, restaurant, office, colleges, personal service establishments, residential as well as many other alternatives. AMS Acquisitions’ development of “Chicken Island” will complement the building of the new Fire Station 1 on New School Street and the soon-to-be completed Phase III of the Saw Mill Daylighting along New Main Street.

AMS Acquisitions LLC (AMS) is a real estate investment firm which focuses on the acquisition and development of retail, residential, and office properties in the New York Metropolitan area. Since forming in 2012, AMS has built a portfolio of approximately 1,500,000 square feet throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. AMS’ development portfolio consists of an excess of $1 Billion in total capitalization. AMS’ expertise in multiple asset classes gives it the ability to understand and unlock value on both ends of mixed-use projects. Some of AMS Acquisitions’ current holdings include mixed use properties in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, New Jersey and Yonkers, including 86 and 92 Main Street.

Mayor Mike Spano and Celebrity Chef Christian Petroni Officially Kick Off New Generation Yonkers Campaign at Special Reception at Fortina Restaurant in Yonkers

New Marketing Campaign Showcases Why Yonkers
Has All the Right Ingredients for Business Success


YONKERS, NY (October 24, 2018) – Celebrity Chef and 2018 Food Network Star Christian Petroni today joined with Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano to officially kick off the next generation of the Generation Yonkersmarketing campaign.

And they did so with plenty of dough!

To celebrate the kickoff of the Gen Y campaign, a special reception was held today at Chef Petroni’s popular Fortina restaurant at the Boyce Thompson Center in Yonkers, where Mayor Spano donned a chef’s apron, rolled up his sleeves and helped Chef Petroni make the “Gen Y Pie” — a new pizza pie which will be on the menu of Fortina.  Ingredients for the Gen Y Pie include: Butternut Squash, Fresh Mozzarella, Kale, Red Onion, Aleppo Pepper and strips of Speck Prosciutto in the shape of a Y.

Chef Petroni, who was recently named co-winner of the hotly contested 2018 Food Network Star competition, is no stranger to fame.  He’s also won Season Four of the Food Network’s “Chopped” series and served as a judge on that show and on “Beat Bobby Flay.” And just this week it was announced that Chef Petroni will be a judge on the Food Network’s “Ultimate Thanksgiving Challenge.” Fortina restaurants are also located in Rye, Stamford, Armonk and Brooklyn.

Chef Petroni is among the small business owners and residents of Yonkers who appear in the Generation Yonkers marketing campaign that is positioning the city as the region’s next hot urban center to live, work and play.

Others appearing in the campaign include:

Jay and Jen Gorinson, new residents who recently moved to River Tides at Greystone luxury rentals on Warburton Avenue in Yonkers;

Ray Wilcox, Managing Partner of ThePowerLab, an innovative co-working space in Southwest Yonkers;

Tameka Breaux, a Registered Nurseandresident of Hudson Park luxury rentals who recently moved from Brooklyn to Yonkers;

Emanuel Arenas, owner of The Little Ranch, a western apparel store on South Broadway in Yonkers;

Brent Delman, owner of the The Cheese Guy, a Yonkers-based business whose cheese products are sold in stores locally, regionally and nationally including Whole Foods and Fairway.

In the ads running on TV, radio, digital and print, Chef Petroni says, “Yonkers is in the center of a renaissance. That same energy that started happening in Brooklyn about 10 years ago is happening here.”


Here are what others featured in the campaign are saying about Yonkers:

  • “Living in Yonkers you get the best of both worlds. It’s right in the middle of everything. ”

— Jay and Jen Gorinson

  • “Yonkers is a great place to run a business. It’s the hub of innovation.”

— Ray Wilcox

  • “Yonkers is like the best-kept secret. It’s going to be the new Brooklyn.”

— Tameka Breaux, RN

  • “Yonkers is a wonderful place to do business. We’ve partnered up with other small startups.”

— Brent Delman

  • Yonkers is a very welcoming city. It’s a really central location. ”

— Emanuel Arenas


“The Generation Yonkers campaign has transcended our local community. Since we started this campaign in 2015, it has helped our city attract new residents and businesses and contributed to the transformation now under way in Yonkers,” said Mayor Spano. “Our message has reached new businesses, young families and millennials across the region because they can relate to those who have invested in Yonkers and can attest to the burgeoning renaissance happening here. The latest iteration of our GenY campaign is the next step in telling our story of how Yonkers has arrived and is THE place to live, work and play,” he added.

Now in its fourth year, the Generation Yonkerscampaign, which was created by the Westchester-based advertising agency Thompson & Bender, is an integrated mix inclusive of broadcast, digital/mobile and event marketing. Media partners include Altice, News12, iHeart Radio, Verve, Inspiria, Facebook/Instagram and Yonkers Progress. Media activation includes :30 second TV spots that will run on News 12 and across Cable Networks such as Bravo, Comedy Central, CNBC, ESPN, TLC, TNT and Food Network, to name a few; :30 second radio spots on Z100 and WHTZ-FM, along with an endorsement campaign led by Skeery Jones of the Elvis Duran Morning Show; Video/Pre-Roll tactics; Metro-North Interior Car Cards along the Harlem Line; Facebook/Instagram ads; and targeted print.

The majority of media activity will run consistently for 7 – 8 weeks. This includes all broadcast and most Digital/Mobile media. Events are flighted throughout the campaign timeframe. The campaign’s MTA (Metro North) activity will start on November 15thand run through the holiday timeframe.  As the Generation Yonkerscampaign evolves, the media mix has expanded to now include a mobile location media partner as well as emerging media such as IP Addressable Digital media and OTT Digital Smart TV media. In addition, the Generation Yonkerswebsite (www.generationyonkers.com) has been updated with new videos and other features.

The City of Yonkers is currently undergoing a remarkable economic renaissance with $2.5 billion in commercial and residential projects under construction including more than 5,000 multi-family residential units.


Media Contacts:

Christina Gilmartin

Communications Director, Office of the Mayor

City Hall: 914-377-6208

Cell: 914-512-4017



Dean Bender

Thompson & Bender

(914) 762-1900 ext. 13



Join the City of Yonkers on Wednesday, October 24 as Multi-Year Renovation Project

Kicks Off to Revitalize the Old Putnam Railroad for Economic Growth


What:                      On October 24, the Yonkers Greenway will break ground to transform an abandoned section of the Old Putnam Railroad into a revitalized park that will feature art installations, gardens and playgrounds for members of the community to enjoy.

When the entirety of the Yonkers Greenway is complete, it will once again link Yonkers to New York City with a two-mile walking and biking path. The Yonkers Greenway will also increase accessibility and encourage economic growth in surrounding areas.

Over the last four years, the City of Yonkers has been committed to developing the project through community engagement from a variety of private and public partners such as Groundwork Hudson Valley, a community-based environmental non-profit, and Bank of America.

Other partners who helped bring the Yonkers Greenway to life include the Environmental Protection Agency, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Westchester Community Foundation, Impact 100 Westchester, the Ronald McDonald House

Charities, and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

When:                      October 24, 2018

                                     Media Check-in / Interviews: 1:30 p.m.

                                     Groundbreaking & Photo Opp: 2:00 p.m.

Where:                    52 Lawrence Street, Yonkers, NY, 10701

Who:                        Mike Spano , Mayor, City of Yonkers

                                   Jeff Barker , New York State President, Bank of America

                                   Brigitte Griswold , Executive Director, Groundwork Hudson Valley

                                   Michael Sabatino ,Majority Leader, Yonkers City Council


Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano will join local veterans and volunteers for Yonkers’ first-ever “Salute & Serve” Day on Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 11:00AM at Melan’s African Hair Braiding 26 North Broadway Yonkers, NY 10701. “Salute & Serve” is an opportunity for the community to thank local veterans for their service by volunteering their time to a veteran and taking them to lunch/coffee or a haircut. Volunteers are paired with a local veteran and visit area restaurants, cafes and barbershops where discounted services are provided (with proof of veteran ID) to those participating in “Salute & Serve.”

“Salute & Serve” is in honor of Yonkers veteran Staff Sgt. Courtney A. Hollinsworth,  who was killed in action in 2007.  The program was created partnership with City Of Yonkers Department of Veteran Services and New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs.

***Interviews and Photo Opps***

Who:            Mike Spano, City of Yonkers Mayor

                       City of Yonkers Department of Veteran Services

                       New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs

                       Veterans & Volunteers        

                       Hope Hollinsworth Coaxum, Gold Star Mother of Staff Sgt. Courtney A. Hollinsworth                      

What:          “Salute & Serve” Community Volunteer Day


Where:       Melan’s African Hair Braiding

                       26 North Broadway

                       Yonkers, NY 10701


When:        Thursday, October 18


Yonkers Rated as One of the Top U.S. Cities Exhibiting LGBTQ Inclusion in Municipal Law & Policy

YONKERS, NY – October 12, 2018 – The Human Rights Commission Foundation, in partnership with the Equality Federation Institute, this week released its sixth annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI), the only nationwide rating system of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law and policy, scoring the City of Yonkers with a perfect 100. Yonkers was one of four cities in New York to receive a perfect score and one of 78 nationally.

“Our administration works tirelessly toward full equality amongst our residents and employees,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “We are once again extremely proud to continually be part of the growing list of communities with a perfect score on the Municipal Equality Index. Our rating reflects diversity as Yonkers’ greatest strength and the respect we have for one another, regardless of who you love.”

Yonkers was specifically recognized for its non-discrimination laws; municipal services; law enforcement and leadership of LGBTQ equality.  June 2018 marked the first time Yonkers hosted a pride festival, attracting hundreds of visitors and residents from the area.

Michael Sabatino, Yonkers City Council Majority Leader stated, “I am proud to know that Yonkers was one of 78 cities nationwide to score a perfect score on the Municipal Equality Index.   We can attribute this to the hard work of Mayor Spano’s administration and the Mayor’s LGBTQ advisory board.   Yonkers is truly a diverse city where our residents are respected and embraced regardless of their ethnicity, religion or their sexual orientation.   We promote a safe environment that allows everyone to co-exist and creates an atmosphere that allows all to contribute to the betterment of the City of Yonkers. Our first pride festival was a huge success having been supported by the community at large.  Congratulations to all.”

The 2018 MEI reveals that cities across the nation are not waiting for their states to extend vital protections to the LGBTQ community, nor are they intimidated by some state elected officials threatening to deny cities the ability to extend fully-inclusive protections to their residents and workers. This year, 78 cities earned perfect scores for advancing fully-inclusive policies and practices — at a time when the nation has been seeing a record number of anti-LGBTQ measures proposed by state elected officials bent on promoting discrimination. 


Sand Bags Available at Yonkers Organic Waste Yard Tonight, Thursday October 11, Until 9PM, In Preparation Of Possible Flooding

YONKERS, NY – October 11, 2018 – In anticipation of flooding due to expected heavy rainfall, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano today announced that the City’s Department of Public Works (DPW) will provide free sand bags for residents who live in low lying areas. Residents can pick up sand bags today until 9PM at the Yonkers Organic Waste Yard, located at 610 Nepperhan Avenue in the City of Yonkers.

“Due to the high amounts of rainfall expected, I’ve asked the DPW to make sand bags available to our residents,” said Mayor Spano. “Flood mitigation efforts are already being implemented by DPW crews in certain low lying areas, but we also want to ensure our residents take the necessary precautionary steps in protecting their homes and property.”

Residents with questions or concerns about flood mitigation should contact the Mayor’s Help Line at (914) 377-HELP (4357).