Mayor Bramson Has Big Plans For New Rochelle

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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.”

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I don't know if our current mayor has all the right answers--or any, for that matter (I was against the Echo Bay project)--but at least he's willing to try something. To "just leave well enough alone" isn't a viable option; it leads to decay. Change always comes, whether we want it or not. The challenge is to direct that change toward improving the lives of our citizens--all of our citizens.

But the mayor's change comes with a price. millions of dollars of tax abatements to the corporate 1% that the rest of the citizens will have to make up. And this is in a city that's broke and has to borrow/bond money every year. Eventually all the borrowing will catch up to New Rochelle & we could end up like Greece.

If he's so inclined to hand out tax breaks, why not give something to the people who pay taxes now?

And we certainly don't need any more low income housing, its already proved to be a disaster for New Rochelle.

I do agree, change will come, but does it have to be a residential tax abated 40 story skyscraper? Why not an office building? At least then we wouldn't have to build new schools.

Is Bramson delusional? New Rochelle doesn't need more residents! You'd think he would have gotten the hint after the last election when the voters of Westchester County scrutinized his record in New Rochelle and they said hell no we don't want for Westchester County what he's done to New Rochelle. And with the fallout of Echo Bay, it's become apparent that our schools are already full to the brim so his plan will increase your school taxes because we're suddenly going to need several new schools. And couple that with the fact that none of this development will be done without huge tax abatements which will further increase everyone's taxes; school, county & city.

I can't wait for the next election, it can't come soon enough. We need Al Tarantino to run for mayor. He's the one with any common sense. Bramson's just plain delusional and I don't know why he doesn't just leave well enough alone.