NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – A crowd of New Rochelle veterans and residents turned out Wednesday to express their unhappiness to the City Council about its decision on the redevelopment of the armory.
The council informally chose the Good Profit development group's plan to turn the armory into an open-air market over a plan submitted by veterans to make the armory into a performing arts center last month.
The armory should be used for the veterans, said Raymond D’ Alessandro, state commander of the Unified Service & Veterans Action Council. “This belongs to the veterans,” D’ Alessandro said.
New Rochelle resident James O’Toole was one of the many who said the council was taking the armory away from the city's veterans and residents.
“This is our building, we want it,” said O’Toole.
The project is not finalized, said New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, and it could change. “This will be a difficult undertaking,” he said. “There are no guarantees, but a commitment to great effort."
The city will now work out an agreement with Good Profit group, then vote on it. The council will also vote on making the plan part of the Echo Bay project to revitalize the waterfront.
The Good Profit group, which assists nonprofits with their goals, wants to turn the armory into an open-air market at an estimated cost of $26 million, with $19 million coming from donations.
The market would sell fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, cheese, bread and other items and include an eating area. The group also proposes an art gallery in the front of the armory and space to provide services to veterans.
August’s presentations marked the first talks between the council and both groups.
Members of the New Rochelle Police Department Police Benevolent Association also showed support for the veterans.