I am flattered to make the cover of the June issue of WAG. While the framing of the cover article overstates my role in City government, the magazine as a whole shines a very positive spotlight on New Rochelle’s growth and vibrancy, as well as the partnerships and teamwork that have helped our community achieve tremendous progress. Take a look.
Very glad to welcome another terrific business to our growing downtown: Hair House, a boutique salon with a devoted clientele, including Katie Couric, who was on hand for the opening celebration. Dana Fiore, the founder and owner, moved her thriving business from its previous location in the Bronx, and is already enjoying even greater success here in New Rochelle. And as the first commercial tenant at the base of the new apartment building at 360 Huguenot Street, Hair House sets an excellent standard for more openings to come.
The Census Bureau’s most recent population estimates show that New Rochelle has grown by about 2% since the 2020 census, for a total of 81,587 residents. That’s the fastest growth of any city in New York State! While the estimates are not broken down by address, it seems likely that our local growth is driven primarily by the very strong demand for downtown housing, with most new buildings leasing up ahead of projections.
This piece from the Bloomberg Cities Network profiles forward-looking communities that are using visualization technology to improve the design of public spaces and to make the planning process more inclusive and engaging, especially for groups that are often underrepresented in traditional public hearings. Alongside Seoul, Wellington, and Amsterdam, New Rochelle is featured prominently for our NRVR initiative, which is being development with funding from a Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge Grant, and which is receiving a beta-test of sorts through the ongoing design of the LINC.
This week New Rochelle inaugurated its new public works operations center at 25 Industrial Lane near Home Depot, as well as additional facilities for yard waste and refuse on Beechwood Avenue and for fueling on Birch Street. The Beechwood site needs a few more months of work before it’s fully up and running, and will eventually also support a new food scrap recycling program.
I get why facilities devoted to waste collection, vehicle maintenance, salt storage and other DPW functions might not excite everybody, but this is actually a really big deal with generational significance for New Rochelle on three levels: (1) enhanced safety and dignity for public employees who perform some of New Rochelle’s most essential duties; (2) modern, efficient infrastructure to meet the current and long-term service needs of a growing city; and (3) a visionary change in land use that unlocks the enormous potential of the Echo Bay waterfront (where our dilapidated former DPW center was located) for the public’s use and enjoyment.
It took literally decades to resolve complicated questions of location, design, funding and approval, so I congratulate and thank the leaders and partners, past and present, whose sustained commitment to this complex challenge made this achievement possible.
Coffee, tea, and pastry lovers should check out Cafetero at 111 Centre Avenue, a little south of Main Street, within the new Modera building. Founded and operated by the team behind the much-loved R Patisserie on Huguenot Street, Cafetero is bright, airy, comfortable, and elegant — a great space to relax, chat, and/or happily fuel up. Catie and I started there for a recent amble through the rapidly changing downtown, viewing murals from Street Art for Mankind, which line the wall just outside, and visiting the new public plaza at One Clinton Park, which is just a block away. It is truly exciting to see our vision for a more vibrant and welcoming city center beginning to take shape, with great, home-grown businesses like Cafetero a sign of things to come.