It’s exciting to see New Rochelle’s Center for the Arts taking shape on Main Street, as the entire facade at the former Loew’s theater undergoes renovation. (Lots of interior work still to be done.) With a black box theater and gallery space, the Arts Center will become a hub of cultural activity in the heart of our downtown. And because the facility is incorporated into RXR’s first major project at 360 Huguenot, it also reflects a nice marriage of old and new, preservation and development.
Last week, I was proud to join City and community leaders, as we cut the ribbon for the Printhouse, a new development at 165 Huguenot Street. Among the wave of projects approved under New Rochelle’s visionary downtown plan, the Printhouse is one of the first to be completed and begin leasing up. This press release has more details.
More than any other single development proposal, the project approved this week by the New Rochelle Planning Board at 11 Lawton Street exemplifies the goals of our visionary downtown plan.
It has everything: high-quality housing of different types, modern retail and restaurant space, and a new hotel, contained within two architecturally distinctive towers, coupled with adaptive reuse of a beloved historic structure. I am particularly pleased that this development will diversify our housing stock with the first new condominiums approved within the downtown overlay.
In its totality, 11 Lawton is among the most significant projects in New Rochelle’s history, and one that will meaningfully advance our efforts to create a thriving, attractive, and sustainable city center.
Here’s a press release with more information.
“New Rochelle is considered among the hottest of evolving real estate markets near big cities.” That’s the upbeat headline in this Patch article referencing a new report from the Urban Land Institute. It is gratifying when our city is highlighted positively as a national model for successful planning.
When New Rochelle adopted its innovative downtown development plan in 2015, we made a firm commitment that taxpayers would come out ahead. Now, with almost thirty projects approved, the fiscal impacts of economic development are coming into clearer focus . . . and New Rochelle’s taxpayers are the big winners.
To be more specific, the projects so far receiving incentives from our local Industrial Development Agency will generate nearly $180 million in additional property tax revenue during the twenty year lifespan of those incentives and a whopping $500 million in additional property tax revenue during the subsequent twenty years. Our School District also does very well, with new revenue far exceeding the cost of educating additional students. These charts illustrate trend lines over twenty years, aggregate impacts in twenty year increments, and aggregate impacts over forty years.
In fact, this analysis actually understates the fiscal benefits of downtown development, because it ignores other enhanced revenue sources like sales tax, permit fees, and fair share mitigation payments for capital and infrastructure needs.
Downtown development is a complicated subject about which many people have strong feelings, pro and con. (It’s no secret that I’m a big supporter.) The fiscal effect of development is only one of many ways to evaluate the growth and evolution of our city center — but it’s an important one, and, by this test, New Rochelle’s plans are succeeding.
A successful promotional campaign is much more than fluff; it helps support New Rochelle’s downtown development plans, and pays dividends to all of us in the form of a better local economy, positive civic image, and stronger housing market. With that in mind, please view New Rochelle’s latest video, highlighting our community as an ideal place to live, work, and grow. And the next time you’re on the train, be sure also to check out our new promotional posters, which are popping up on Metro-North.