Echo Bay a Bad Idea – Save the New Rochelle Armory –Support our Veterans

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Echo Bay a Bad Idea – Save the New Rochelle Armory –Support our Veterans

July 29, 2013 - 22:39


Every time I look at the artist renderings of the proposed Echo Bay development, I think of a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing.

Why, because there are some things missing in the artist rendering that aren’t going to go away. First of all, where is the picture of the 7 or 8 story sewage plant that is being built next to it and secondly, what does the place look like when the tide is out and the mud flats are exposed?

In June, I attended a Citizens meeting about Echo Bay. The mayor and representatives from Forest City were there. About 230 people were in attendance and not one person in the room spoke in favor of the project.
Furthermore, no one has thought to mention that this plan will intrude on the Armory property and that is in violation of the deed.

I also have been attending City Council meetings about the Armory and I have been upset at the lack of respect that our Veterans have been receiving from the mayor and some of the City Council members. I have never been so appalled and I find it very difficult to understand. These Veterans fought for our freedom and some never came home. They deserve our respect, concern and our help.

The Armory was purchased by New Rochelle for $1.00 from New York State in 1997 with the understanding that it would be used for public purposes and that it would be repaired, enhanced and maintained. Apparently, the deed has been ignored. Our New Rochelle Veterans have come up with a plan to turn the Armory into a “Veterans Memorial Center”. It will have a performing arts center, senior and youth services, sports services and more. It will be a true community center that the will serve the peoples needs in our community. Unfortunately, the Mayor has not had the courtesy to attend a hearing about it. He seems to be pressuring everyone to buy into the Echo Bay project that I think is ridiculous. Who in their right mind wants to live next to a sewage treatment plant on top of a mud flat?
Our Armory’s are historic buildings, “built like fortresses,” someone said at a recent Armory meeting. Communities are and have been restoring them all over the country. For example, Goldman Sachs is financing the conversion of the Bronx Armory into a sports arena (New York Post 7/11/2013) and Manhattan’s Armory up by Columbia/Cornell Medical Center that was used to house the homeless is now a Sports Arena. The one in Wolfboro, New Hampshire is a museum.

And last, but not least the Echo Bay development plan is probably going to raise New Rochelle’s taxes. Beware of wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing!

There are 4 Comments

Susan; You are very right. And the real shame is that Forest City has done some quality work (only an opinion as a citizen observer; I am not an architect or an expert on municipal finance), witness Barclay's Center in Brooklyn and the bustling (if not yet profitable)l Ridge Hill shopping-plex in Yonkers.

And further shame is that Armories have been converted to progressive, modern public use for profit (or at least minimal ongoing public subsidy) as with the Bronx (Kingsbridge?) Armory you mention, and the Syracuse Armory (adjoining Syracuse University's downtown campus) which has been converted into a popular technology museum.

With the city council's ongoing encouragement of, and ever-expanding connivance in Bramson's Boondoggle, it has sullied the promise of New Rochelle's downtown redevelopment, doomed some valuable real estate to its "lowest economic use," and corrupted the structural/architectural integrity of a notable local piece of American military history. And what for? To buttress the ceremonial mayor's flimsy public service resume with a sham drama of architecutural vision and urban rebirth.

I still think that armory would make a wonderful civic center. Sporting events, concerts. etc.

I'd like to see the Armory become a museum and/or concert hall. It should be a source of culture in New Rochelle.

The people of New Rochelle are quite cultured. New Rochelle has a lot of history to be proud of, and only rarely takes advantage of it.

Check out Noam Bramson on the Phil Riesman show. You will enjoy the part where he says the lines of communication need to be opened between the people and government. Yeah, they need to be opened but he will not listen and do as he pleases anyway.