Can New Rochelle Afford More Residential Development?

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I have just learned that Cooper Hill apartments (Cooper Dr.) has been offered for sale by Cushman and Wakefield. It is a 216 unit garden style community. The children at this complex attend Trinity School, IEY Middle School and New Rochelle High School.

The exclusive agents state there is a potential to increase development density per the zoning. The permitted height is three stories and there is the capacity to increase the FAR by approximately 50%. This provides the potential to either add a floor to each building or add additional buildings, as the current improved coverage is half of what is allowable. There is significant space available for new buildings in the areas where there are currently non-attached garages, as well as, on an unimproved lot at the southwest corner of the site.

Can we afford more children in our schools? Will the buyer ask for tax abatements? When will the East End be included on appointed boards and committees and will the mayor hear the people including the quiet people who do not go to hearings or march in protests?

Howard Stevens's picture
Howard Stevens on Tue, 04/16/2013 - 14:13
Title: Echo Bay

The City is proposing to give a sweetheart deal to a real estate developer to build yet another rental apartment complex--at Echo Bay--which will include a 20 year tax abatement. This tax abatement will deprive our schools of desperately needed funds while simultaneously burdening them with additional children. Our kids are already in some classes with over 30 kids.

I've spent the last few weeks learning a lot about this project; I've spoken with members of the city council, the board of ed and various planning and development committees. I've poured over documents going back 5-6 years to better understand the economic implications of this project (if you would like more detailed information visit www.echobayfacts.com). What it amounts to is this:

The majority of New Rochelle's tax revenue comes from residential property owners--like you and me (while a healthy local economy and the national average comes from mostly commercial property). Building yet more residential units will not provide the additional tax revenue our city needs; it will further strain our already overburdened schools and essential city services, like our fire and police departments. The currently proposed deal only exacerbates this problem as it calls for our City to give away millions of dollars worth of land, provide nearly $20 million in tax abatements and issue $25 million in additional debt.

The numbers just don’t add up!
Total Annual Revenue (over 20 year period): $26,400,000
Total Annual Expenses (over 20 year period): $29,100,000
Up-Front Investment contributed by New Rochelle: $37,500,000

CUMULATIVE NET LOSS (through 2036): $40,200,000

AS CURRENTLY PROPOSED, ECHO BAY DEVELOPMENT WILL RESULT IN HIGHER TAXES, OVERCROWDED CLASSROOMS, A SUBSTANTIAL INCREASE IN CITY DEBT AND ADDITIONAL STRESS ON VITAL CITY SERVICES.

I am very much for development in New Rochelle. However, I feed strongly that development needs to be financially responsible as well. We need more commercial development--not residential--if are are ever going to address our systemic economic issues.

Please take a moment to read through this petition. The petition is simply asking the City Council to explore alternative proposals and select one only if it makes financial sense. https://www.change.org/petitions/re-bid-echo-bay-development

Please Sign the Petition

Thanks,

Amy Heyman's picture
Amy Heyman on Mon, 10/15/2012 - 14:11

Does this mean another debacle for the east end -- when we're still trying to resolve issues concerning the last debacle (Pepe Mercedes)? It's high time that the east end be represented on appointed boards and committees which make decisions concerning our part of New Rochelle.

Just as Pepe wanted to name their dealership 'Mercedes-Benz of Larchmont' while being located in New Rochelle, Cushman Wakefield is advertising Cooper Drive apts as being right next to an exclusive area boasting 1.2 million dollar homes. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. And about that tax abatement, Mr. Mayor..............

catcher10us on Tue, 11/13/2012 - 12:43
Title: Makes sense

Would you want your high end dealership named MB of New Rochelle? On one hand I think it stinks that they would put it up in New Rochelle and not use the name of the town. On the other hand, as a business man, I can easily understand it. Just another fiasco in the queen city. On the other hand, we do have bike lanes.