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Downtown New Rochelle Developers To Take Public Input, Create Action Plan

Dozens of New Rochelle residents have taken a hands-on approach to the downtown redevelopment, making their voices heard at various meet-ups.
Dozens of New Rochelle residents have taken a hands-on approach to the downtown redevelopment, making their voices heard at various meet-ups. Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – After pushing the initial deadline for public input regarding the “most ambitious redevelopment in New Rochelle history,” the master developers tasked with designing downtown are set to take the next step in the process as they start preparing a “Recommended Action Plan” that will be submitted to city officials.

As part of the Crowdsourced Placemaking process that began earlier this year, local officials are teaming with developers from RDRXR to gather input from the community regarding what they are looking for in their future downtown business district.

Since then, there have been several “idea generating meet-ups,” with the public tasked with voting on those ideas on the NR Future website, with the top choices to be considered in the “Recommended Action Plan,” that is being put together by the developers to be submitted to city officials.

The initial deadline was early June, but after listening to the community’s request, that was extended to July 15, with the results to be unveiled next week at another July 22 meet-up.

With the deadline reached, according to developers, RDRXR will now “submit a Recommended Action Plan to the City of New Rochelle, which includes economic studies market analyses and zoning recommendations to determine a triple-bottle-line (economically, socially, environmentally beneficial) vision for downtown New Rochelle.”

Any public place or innovative policy ideas that receive the support of 300 members of the community, and any downtown culture, mobility, new business, event or community services ideas that garner the support of at least 200 will be included in the Action Plan.

Some of the most popular ideas to be discussed at the various meet-ups include a waterfront amphitheater, free Wi-Fi, a pedestrian mall, concert menu, bike lanes and a retail entertainment system. Other ideas include a bookstore café, rooftop bar, general improvements to current stores and an improved homeless shelter for the city’s disenfranchised.

Since announcing the selection of RDRXR as the master developers last year, city officials in New Rochelle have been excited to hit the ground running as they charge forward. When the redevelopment is fully underway, it is expected to generate 12,000 temporary jobs and nearly 5,000 permanent full-time jobs.

“This will be a partnership like none we’ve had before. Because we’re not looking to develop this site or that site in isolation. We’re looking to enhance our downtown as a whole, with multiple sites planned together,” Mayor Noam Bramson said in his latest State of the City address.

“If we get this right, if we take advantage of the good economy, execute a good plan, show ourselves to be good leaders, and give everyone from the biggest fan to the biggest skeptic a good reason to feel that their investment in this city is paid back in full, then it’s not just our bank accounts and budgets that will be enriched by the right kind of development – it’s our city’s soul.”

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