As part of our ongoing effort to improve the Echo Bay waterfront, the City has just issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the adaptive reuse of the former Armory located on East Main Street.

The RFP identifies three principal goals:

  1. rehabilitate and preserve a historic structure with distinctive architectural features;
  2. activate a currently underutilized site for the public’s enjoyment and benefit; and
  3. complement and enhance the surrounding revitalization of the New Rochelle shoreline.

We are entirely open-minded about potential reuse models and encourage creative submissions. Beyond presenting a general concept, proposals must also include financial information, a business plan, and other forms of information necessary to judge operational and economic viability. The full RFP contains additional details.

The Armory has been a subject of intense debate, with some in the community committed to its preservation and others entirely indifferent to its fate. Earlier iterations of the Echo Bay plan assumed demolition of the Armory — the current plan would preserve it. Personally, I assign the highest priority to a clean, vibrant and publicly-accessible waterfront, but if adaptive reuse of the Armory can be accomplished within this context, then it would be a major plus, so I hope that the RFP bears fruit.

Submission are due on July 20th, so we’ll know more this summer.