Students Help Revitalize YonkersContact: Snipe, Michele
NEW YORK - A group of Fordham business students is helping the city of Yonkers to revitalize a key corridor leading to the Hudson River.
Three graduate students and one undergraduate have provided the city with cost projections for construction and cleanup as well as a listing of government assistance programs, bonding programs and tax incremental financing plans to pay for the project.
"In terms of professionalism, they were outstanding," said Lawrence Sykes, director of special projects for the City of Yonkers Office of Economic Development. "I would place [their work] on par with work we have received from [professional] consultants."
And all of this information is being provided at no cost to the city. The students completed the work in a business school field study course taught by Associate Professor Leon Shilton, Ph.D.
This is the second time Fordham has teamed up with the Yonkers for urban renewal project. The idea for the partnership was formed when a student in one of Shilton's graduate real estate courses wrote a paper about a potential development project in Yonkers. Shilton was so intrigued by the prospect that he and another professor wrote to the city and offered the studentsí services. Yonkers gladly accepted their offer, Shilton said.
During the fall semester, students studied the feasibility of revitalizing a commercial avenue in Yonkers. The students studied the demographics of the area and construction costs, completed a sophisticated mapping study and recommended a number of state and federal grants that might help fund the project.
Based on the studentsí recommendations, the city is applying for a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Sykes said.
"Their study had a great deal of utility, not only in terms of information that the students were able to provide, but for providing and developing vision for this area [of Yonkers]," he said.