Top Stories 2012: New Rochelle Moving Forward On Echo Bay Project

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The New Rochelle City Council unanimously adopted a resolution in May to move forward with the Echo Bay project Photo Credit: File Photo

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. ‒ As we head into the new year, The New Rochelle Daily Voice will count down, in no particular order, the top 10 stories of 2012.

In May, the City Council unanimously adopted a resolution detailing how it wants the city’s waterfront to look when the Echo Bay project is completed.

Last week, the city was awarded $1.5 million in Regional Economic Development Funding for reclamation of the Echo Bay Waterfront, Gov. Cuomo announced.

The funding will assist the City in transforming contaminated and inaccessible land into a vibrant, mixed-use waterfront community featuring more than five acres of open space, market-rate and affordable rental housing and retail.

“This project will achieve a dramatic transformation along the waterfront while also benefiting our local economy,” New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson said Friday. “State assistance will increase the likelihood of the project being successfully accomplished and will improve the plan’s terms for our entire community.”

The redevelopment has been in the works for a while. An environmental impact assessment draft is about to be reviewed, the city has had extensive conversations with the developer and there has been ample public discussion. However, Bramson said the precise terms of the deal have not yet been worked out and will be financially challenging.

“At a minimum, the state grant will help improve those terms and it may very well make the difference between the project being viable or not viable,” he said.

The money was granted through New York State's Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Initiative, created by Cuomo in 2011. Its goal is to empower community, business and academic leaders, as well as members of the public in each region of the state, to develop strategic plans tailored to their region's strengths and resources in order create jobs and support economic growth.

New Rochelle was the only Westchester municipality to receive a grant award in this round.

“It is a welcome and significant form of assistance,”  Bramson said.

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Fifth Ave Guy:

The only thing this project will do is bankrupt New Rochelle. With this $1.5 million NR only needs another $48.5 million ($25 mill for the Armory & now $23.5 mill for the city yard) to fill the gap and we'll be all set, but without someone donating the other $48.5 million property taxes will sky-rocket!

But how did the project go from the city borrowing $13 million to the city borrowing $25 million? Seems like the costs doubled overnight without explaination and I bet this $1.5 million gets lost in the mix.

Echo Bay is bad bad bad for New Rochelle. If we could afford it, then great go for it, but the city's in a dire financial position right now and should NOT be thinking about borrowing millions and millions of dollars that it can't afford to repay.

Too bad the city's so transient. People seem to not care about the affordability anymore.

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