Wilder Balter Partners Inc.
William G. Balter and Robert H. Wilder, successful developers each with over 20 years of experience, founded Wilder Balter Partners Inc. (WBP) in 1996 to be a leader of quality new construction in the New York metropolitan area. The property development company, based in Elmsford, N.Y., has built luxurious single-family subdivisions, market rate and affordable multifamily residential units, plus high-quality senior communities around the Tri-State Area, as well as the greater Hudson Valley area and further down the East Coast.
With experience in (re)development and management of mixed-use, commercial and industrial properties, Balter and Wilder and the company’s staff of 40 management and accounting professionals possess the knowledge to handle any manner of real estate, but the pair’s current focus is stated in the WBP mission statement: “Not just dream homes, green homes and sustainable communities for life!”
WBP was the first company in Westchester County to achieve LEED certification for home building. With this philosophy in place WBP proved the perfect company to helm the development of Roundtop Commons, featuring affordable rental units located on a site off of Route 9A in Montrose, N.Y., that has been earmarked for eventual use since 1993 and has gone through the hands of several developers.
Finding a Balance
The Roundtop Commons development represents the culmination of over 19 years of work on the part of the Town of Cortland Planning Department and various developers to put strategically located land to the best use of the community. The site is just six miles from the Hudson Valley Hospital Center and 1.5 miles from the prestigious and public Hendrick Hudson High School.
Though original plans for the site were geared towards market-rate rentals and luxury residential developments, WBP proposed appropriating the plans for affordable housing after the site’s last developer abandoned the project in 2008. When the town approved the new design, WBP took on all development and property management duties and turned to its construction management and general contracting firm Griffon Associates Inc. (GAI) to come on and assist in value engineering, design and supply chain management, among other project aspects.
To reinforce its signature commitment to environmentally responsible design and modern living amenities, WBP established its partnership with GAI over a decade-and-a-half ago. GAI has been in business since 1988, and in the last 15 years the company’s staff has held the role of general contractor for all of WBP’s developments. GAI has completed construction or rehabilitation of over 2,000 units for WBP, and the company prides itself on providing the right preconstruction services, planning and relationships to keep projects ahead of schedule and on budget.
“Our goal is to establish the kind of working relationships with our trades that are mutually beneficial,” asserts Paul Occhiogrosso, purchasing manager for Griffon Associates Inc., where he has been employed for close to seven years. “We are confident in ourselves, our trades, and the quality that goes into our projects.”
Meeting the Needs of the Community
When completed Roundtop Commons will provide 91 units of affordable rental apartments to the community with one apartment reserved for the complex’s superintendent. The units are split between 46 one-bedroom units and 45 two-bedroom units with 23 units per each of the complex’s four buildings, with some units designed to be handicap accessible.
Additionally, the development, with its attractive stone facades, will include common living space, a playground, laundry facilities and a clubhouse for residents. Each unit will have individually controlled hot water heaters and central heating/cooling units. When the clubhouse is completed, residents will have access to a conference room, library and media room, kitchenette and multipurpose room to host community events and gatherings.
From the very beginning, WBP made it clear to the community that the site would be developed and constructed for the greatest benefit of the community. When community members expressed concern over the state of nearby wetlands and the proposed removal of 110 trees on site, WBP responded directly. The team mobilized immediately and relocated one of the complex’s four buildings and rearranged the parking lot to spare a total of 92 trees from removal. Additionally, the developer pledged to maintain the wetlands and to remove any invasive species.
As of late 2011, the project was well underway and on track to welcome its first group of tenants in 2012, and the company expects the units will fill up fast, given the economic climate and the region’s need for affordable housing. In addition, several of WBP’s senior living developments already has long waiting lists. As tenants begin moving in to its completed projects, Wilder Balter Partners Inc. will deliver on its promise of providing housing to the community that proves developments can be modern, affordable and environmentally conscious as well.
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