Last year, the City, Iona College and neighborhood representatives convened a working group with the goal of addressing the College’s student housing needs in concert with the interests of the surrounding area. Since then, this working group has met on a regular basis and made progress in achieving its mission. An interim report released last month outlines initial conclusions and recommendations.

The planning process is now moving to a more public phase.

First, a community meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, March 15 at 7:30pm in the City Council Conference Room at New Rochelle City Hall. Anyone interested will have an opportunity to offer comments, feedback and suggestions for future action.

Second, as part of this planning effort, Iona has issued a Call for Concepts and an associated Submission Form, inviting property owners, developers, and their representatives to offer ideas for meeting additional student housing objectives. This provides a structured framework for Iona to entertain creative ideas, including concepts such as mixed-use development on North Avenue.

There are still many unanswered questions and more work to be done, but I am grateful to the volunteers who have devoted time and energy to this effort, and I am encouraged by their progress.