Target and Kohl’s Are Probable Tenants at New Roc City

This month, New Rochelle received the eagerly-awaited news that department stores are returning to our downtown. Attracting new quality retail to our central business district has been among our community’s chief goals for decades, so this is an outstanding development for all of us who wish to shop with convenience and pride in the heart of our own city.

Two department stores will be sited in a reconfigured New Roc City, taking up the bulk of the first and second levels. Several entertainment uses, such as the movie theaters and some restaurants, will remain, while others may be relocated or discontinued. A formal and firm announcement of tenants is expected within the next few weeks, but various public comments and documents have already referred explicitly to Target and Kohl’s.

In addition to the obvious economic and planning benefits associated with such a dramatic new retail addition, it is my strong opinion that the repositioning of New Roc will also attract additional retailers to the Main Street area. This is the proverbial breaking of the ice that has been pursued by City and business leaders for several years.

To accommodate this change, New Roc City will undergo extensive reconstruction costing approximately $50 million. In order to make this arrangement economically viable, the New Rochelle Industrial Development Agency agreed to extend the current PILOT (that is, Payment In Lieu of Taxes) arrangement at New Roc for an additional ten years, resulting in a reduction in projected future property tax revenue during the PILOT period (albeit a substantial increase from the PILOT revenue generated today.)

Download a spreadsheet detailing the financial terms and projections of the New Roc retail conversion.

It is essential to note that total revenue, including PILOT payments, sales taxes, and parking fees, from the new retail center will greatly exceed — by millions of dollars — the amount generated today or the amount projected without any action. (Complete figures can be downloaded. The precise net benefit ranges from $11 million to $31 million, depending upon various scenarios.)

One real down-side to this arrangement is the loss of the New Roc ice rink. Unfortunately, the large spatial needs of the rink and the department stores are simply incompatible, so the introduction of new retail necessitates the rink’s closure. Our Parks officials are already working with ice hockey and skating advocates to create a new rink at City Park, and I am optimistic that this venture will prove successful.