MAYOR OF NEW ROCHELLE
Leadership That’s Working… For All Of Us.
New Rochelle is on a roll, with the lowest crime rate in generations, the best bond rating in 80 years, major new investments in roads, parks
A new hotel, with a design reminiscent of cutting-edge buildings along the High Line, has been proposed for Cedar Street, adjacent to I-95 (at the site of the former Don Conqui and Got Soul restaurants.) 225 rooms, together with dining and other amenities, in an ultra-modern tower rising above a rehabbed historic structure at the base. In a presentation last night to the City Council, the developers also proposed to enhance the appearance and pedestrian accessibility of Garden Street to better connect this site to the downtown and train station.
Given the prominence of its location, one of the most visible in our entire city, this project would have a dramatic (and I think positive) effect on perceptions of New Rochelle. It’s also a great example of how the successful execution of our downtown development plan is generating buzz about New Rochelle as a whole.
That said, there are plenty of steps ahead, including a review of zoning, an examination of environmental impacts, and an analysis of parking and traffic issues. Too soon to provide approvals, but the proposal is certainly encouraging.
New Rochelle’s Bike Share, the first in Westchester County, officially launched today. 100 bikes, 11 stations throughout the city. Learn more in this press release or join our bike share program at www.bikenewrochelle.com.
We actually had a soft launch back in March, just to test everything out, and already more than 400 people have signed up, taking thousands of trips! That’s way above expectations, especially in light of the iffy spring weather, and a positive sign of public enthusiasm.
This morning, I joined about twenty other cyclists for a maiden ride from City Hall to Anderson Plaza, and (following a three decade break from bicycles — shhh, don’t tell anyone) aim now to be a regular user.
By offering a fun and sustainable way to get around, we help make New Rochelle a healthier, stronger, greener community. It’s also part of our larger effort to compete for the next generation of residents and businesses.
Try it out, and have fun.
Today, we celebrated the “topping off” of one new downtown project at 587 Main Street and the ground-breaking for another at the site of the the Church-Division garage. This press release has more information.
These are just two of six developments that will dramatically reshape New Rochelle’s skyline during the next few years. With many smaller projects already under construction and still more projects yet to be announced, we are well on track to meeting the goals of our ambitious downtown plan. It’s exciting!
I had the pleasure of unveiling renderings of several of these proposed towers during my recent State of the City Address, and in this post, you can view images of New Rochelle’s near-future.
Click on any of the images to enlarge them.
I just finished delivering my 2018 State of the City Address to an overflow audience at City Hall.
My remarks confronted head-on the important and timely challenge of youth safety and enrichment, but also offered an expansive and very positive assessment of our community’s dramatic progress on economic, environmental, and social priorities. Despite the pressing concerns of this moment, there has never been better cause for optimism and excitement about New Rochelle’s future.
Please read the whole speech by downloading the text as a PDF or by copying this address into your browser:
You can also view my speech as a word cloud, which certainly improves its brevity!
I expect video will be posted shortly, and I will share it when available.
UPDATE (3-2-18): Here’s the video.
As always, I welcome your feedback.
In a nation-wide competition featuring more than 300 applications, New Rochelle has been named one of just 35 “Champion Cities” by Bloomberg Philanthropies. #mayorschallenge
Bloomberg challenged municipalities across the country to propose innovative ideas with the potential to benefit cities everywhere. New Rochelle’s winning concept involves the use of virtual-reality to visualize development, enhance the quality of urban design, and permit greater public participation in choices about planning and growth. It’s a perfect complement to our ambitious downtown development strategy.
“New Rochelle now advances to the six-month ‘Test, Learn, and Adapt’ phase of the competition. Cities will refine their ideas during this process with up to $100,000 [a grant awarded by Bloomberg], as well as personalized support from innovation experts, to test and begin building support for their urban innovations and submit a new application in August 2018. In October, four cities will receive $1 million awards and one will receive a grand prize of $5 million to bring their ideas to life.”
Congratulations to the team that put together New Rochelle’s outstanding application. I am proud that our community is being recognized nation-wide as a creative leader.
Please join me on Thursday, March 1st at City Hall for the annual State of the City Address.
The evening begins with a networking reception at 6:00pm, followed by the speech at 7:30pm. It’s free and open to the public, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis.
There’s more in this flyer. Hope to see you there.
Big, breaking news this week . . .
RXR, part of New Rochelle’s master development team, has just announced plans to construct two new towers at the site of the Church-Division parking garage, a stone’s throw from Main Street. At 28 stories each, these towers will contain a combined total of 650 to 700 apartments, with about 40,000 square feet of new retail at the base, and parking to service both residential and commercial components, at an overall value of around $300 million.
This is the most significant and exciting announcement since the adoption of New Rochelle’s ambitious downtown development plan, and it kicks our revitalization efforts into high gear, as we pursue the community’s vision for a vibrant, diverse city center.
RXR expects to seek site plan approval for the project later this year and aims to break ground during the second half of 2018, just as their first project at 587 Main Street begins to lease up.
This press release contains more information, and the renderings displayed in this post offer a preliminary view of the project’s design. There’s also a piece on Bloomberg News which puts the Church-Division development (and others) in a regional context.
It is truly exciting that New Rochelle’s potential is — finally — being recognized by investors. Of course, it will still be several years before our plans are fully executed and before their positive ground-level impacts can be realized, but, as this latest news demonstrates, our positive momentum is building, and building fast.
New Rochelle has chosen MacQuesten Development to redevelop 45 Harrison Street, the present location of our downtown fire station. The selection follows the issuance of an RFP for the site in January and presentations from two capable development teams in May.
MacQuesten proposes to construct a 27-story residential tower with ground floor retail/restaurant space. Office space might also be included on lower levels. This project will make an impressive statement at the eastern gateway to our downtown, just as RXR’s first project at 587 Main Street marks the western gateway.
In addition, MacQuesten will provide both financial resources and professional expertise to assist in the construction of a new, modern fire station.
Since approving our ambitious downtown plan in December 2015, New Rochelle’s positive momentum has built by the week. This new announcement marks yet another important milestone on our way to creating a walkable, exciting, and attractive city center.