Model Block Program Aims to Rehabilitate Historic Buildings

While new construction is important to the health and future of our downtown, New Rochelle must also do more to invest in our historic architectural assets. Main Street has many wonderful buildings which have suffered from poor maintenance or misguided façade treatment over the years. The Business Improvement District has developed an ambitious plan to bring back the historic charm of Main Street, beginning with a model block from Centre Avenue to Division Street. Among the participating businesses: Talner and T&R Jewelers, Diamond Glass, the Curtain Shop, and CCC Computer Store. Also participating are the new Davenport Lofts at the former Bloomingdales Building, the Bluegill Apartments at the former Lillian Vernon Building, and the Stern Insurance building. In each case, historic brick facades will be revealed, windows uncovered, awnings installed, retail frontages cleaned, and better signage erected. Where appropriate, residential and office units will be refurbished on upper levels. The overall effect will be a dramatic, coordinated transformation of an entire downtown block. The BID estimates a total project cost of $1,240,000 to be funded through a combination of private contributions and State grants. I am hopeful that the model block program will spur similar investments by property owners throughout the downtown.