NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – The Forest City Residential Group, which has long sought to construct a development on Echo Bay in New Rochelle, has dropped its $2 million claim against the city.
The organization recently sent a letter to city officials demanding $2 million, claiming that they spent nearly $3.2 million on legal, lobbying and consulting fees while attempting to garner support for their project.
“While the city and Forest City Residential have different perspectives about the manner in which the Echo Bay waterfront redevelopment concluded, we have agreed that the interests on both parties are best served by moving forward,” they announced in a statement. “Today, we are setting aside our claim for expenses associated with the project.”
The Echo Bay proposal has been a divisive issue in New Rochelle, with Mayor Noam Bramson fearlessly supporting it against the city council and a majority of residents.
Last November, the council voted 6-1 against the redevelopment, with only the mayor voting to support it. The Forest City proposal would have included 285 luxury apartments, 25,000-square-feet in retail space and a waterfront park.
“New Rochelle recognizes Forest City’s significant investment in the Echo Bay site, and is, therefore grateful for Forest City’s decision to set aside its claim for expenses,” city officials said in their own statement. “[The] partnership at Echo Bay began in a spirit of mutual respect, and now it concludes in that same spirit.”
On Wednesday, residents expressed relief that the oft-debated Echo Bay project may finally be behind them. William Clayton, a longtime New Rochelle resident, said that the plan was doomed from the beginning.
“Residents knew it was a bad idea. The City Council knew it was a bad idea. The only people who didn’t were the one’s developing the project,” he said. “Something needs to be done there, but I never liked what they were considering.”