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New Rochelle Council Approves Echo Bay Amendment

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – The New Rochelle City Council unanimously approved a revised amendment regarding the Echo Bay Project Tuesday.

“This is not the final step in the process but an important step,” said New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson.

The proposed agreement between the city and project developer Forest City originally called for a short report to be written in the next 18 months that looks at how the project’s upgrades would impact the environment, and the effect it would have on the city’s water front. However, the council voted to cut this investigation down to nine months, or 180 days.

The city will look at how traffic flows throughout the area, parking, plans for the placement of utilities, improvements that can be made to the area in order to make more attractive for retailers and a design program that meets the standards of the New York State Environmental Quality Review.

A study about the area’s social and economic conditions will also be conducted, along with issues with land use, zoning and other city requirements will also be addressed.

Forest City Residential Group Vice President Abe Naparstek indicated that social and economic factors related that the area’s social and economic factors have already been looked at.

“A lot of that has already in fact been done by the city,” Naparstek said.

The project is envisioned to put 200 to 300 residential units along the city's waterfront and 25,000 to 50,000 square feet of retail space at the current city yard space.

District 1 Council member Louis Trangucci was in favor of the change because the city could figure out certain logistics of the project such as the cost of parking for the armory building, and the benefit this could have for the city.

District 2 Council member Albert Tarantino felt the shorter length of time would allow the city to come to a conclusion about where it stands with the project.

“We’ll know where we’re going and what we need to do,” Tarantino said.

Forest City’s latest plan, smaller than the one originally proposed amid previous concerns, also details how the area would be utilized to allow for the development of waterfront access, retail space, parking garages and residential buildings.

The developer’s proposal also details how the project would not interfere with city’s economic growth so that the area can continue to be developed in the future.

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