The good folks over at Cause of Action have released part III of their investigation of the multi billion Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) developer Forest City Enterprises. You can read the latest installment by clicking HERE . As readers recall, the findings in the 3 part report reinforced the opposition to the Mayors pet project for New Rochelle's Echo Bay which ultimately led to a stunning, bi partisan 6-1 city council approval to part ways with the developer. The mayor cast the only vote in support of the project. As the facts about the project became clear, citizens and local civic groups joined together to raise awareness regarding the issues surrounding the project despite the Mayor's continued efforts to push the project forward. The seemingly uphill battle against the project succeeded in spite of the Mayors claims of the project being a "done deal" and his chiding the citizens by claiming that, at the end of the day, " heads don't count" as he tried to disenfranchise the overwhelming gathering of citizens who were unimpressed with the latest anemic version of a once grand project. The stunning defeat came fresh on the heels of Mayor Bramson's lackluster performance in the hotly contested race for Westchester County Executive where, in a County with an intrinsic 2-1 democrat registration, he was soundly defeated by incumbent Rob Astorino.
As one resident put it " I can't remember when this city has come together so strongly around an issue, unfortunately it was against the Mayor. All of New Rochelle should be proud of what has happened here. If we could stick together like this the city will be a far better place for our future generations". Comparisons to David and Goliath and dragon slaying were the topic of conversation at a recent meeting of opposition members. The general sentiment at the meeting can be summed up as "This win is not the end, it is a new beginning for New Rochelle as we take our lessons learned and move forward in a positive light to make our city the best it can be. Growth from within is the path to sustainable success and we'll be there to help in any way we can"
As far as we could tell, Forest City has never been defeated in this fashion. They have walked away from the table when the subsidies dried up, but to be put out like this is unheard of for the developer.
Again hats off to an involved city and all those who have participated in shaping the future of New Rochelle.
You can read the rest of the report by clicking below