NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – In his “State of the City” address, New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson outlined his plan for downtown, which includes hiring “master developers” for multiple sites around Main Street and New Rochelle.
Bramson’s plan includes the development of more than a million square feet of new commercial, residential and retail locations that will be linked by plazas, walkways and roads that will make the locations more functional for pedestrians.
Over the past few months, the city has completed studies on transit-oriented growth and traffic patterns while officials determined the best course to redevelop downtown New Rochelle.
“(Luiz Aragon), the Commissioner of Development has proposed a model that’s new for our city, a master development agreement,” Bramson said. “A framework that encompasses more sites, more flexibility, a bigger picture view and better consultation early on to harmonize our objectives with the realities of the marketplace.”
The master plan for downtown New Rochelle includes 2,000 new apartments, and 500,000-square-feet of retail space. It features a new concierge desk at the train station, more walking and biking lanes downtown and several new restaurants.
The City Council will begin accepting developer bids in May, and Bramson is hopeful to have teams in place by the end of the summer.
“Struggling cities shrink. Healthy cities grow. By planning ahead, we can go the right way,” he said. “Put it all together - the assets we possess, the plans we have shaped, and the hurdles we can see and surmount – and there’s no reason why downtown can’t be the envy of Westchester and a model to cities everywhere.”
In his speech, Bramson envisioned a North Avenue biotech corridor teeming with doctors and scientists, a sky-bridge over I-95, towering office buildings and new restaurants. The mayor warned that an overhaul of this magnitude couldn’t be completed in a day, or even a year.
“This is no timid, incremental step. This is a bold stroke from an ambitious city that is determined to take charge of its own future,” he said. “And if it seems like a lot to do, and it is, just remember that we have a record of turning goals into accomplishments.”