If you watched the city council discussion of Echo Bay, Abe Naperstak (Forest City), would have you believe their miniscule project is a panacea for New Rochelle's waterfront. The once all-inclusive sprawling 26-acre project has been condensed to 6 acres primarily on the City Yard site. Since the failure of Good Profits to develop the Armory, the MOU must once again be amended weakening the project further. Every aspect of Forest City's Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) is highly questionable from their projection of 22 school children from 285 rental units to their sales tax projections from a paltry 25,000 sf of retail space, reduced from the original 50,000 sf.
Mayor Bramson envisions a "great" project when, in reality, this is a postage stamp size development in the middle of 26 acres with no vision of a central theme or any promise of future phasing. In fact, Forest City is attempting to sell off property it acquired in contemplation of developing the entire 26-acre waterfront after becoming the chosen developer.
Forest City currently owns 310 Main St., formerly the Porsche Dealership and most recently a boxing club. I contacted the selling agent who confirmed Forest City is the owner. I also questioned if the property was in the Urban Renewal Zone? The response was that it was not as Forest City has dramatically downsized the project. When I pushed the agent as to whether the property was in the Urban Renewal Zone for future development consideration the agent responded, "That is a good question". If Forest City is truly a developer/partner in New Rochelle's future why are they attempting to sell off property they own in the Echo Bay Development zone?
It is crystal clear that Forest City is looking to maximize profit from their investment in the diminished Echo Bay Proposal, nothing more. Forest City is proposing a 20-year Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) which amounts to corporate welfare for a wealthy developer on the backs of New Rochelle taxpayers. Mayor Bramson is Forest City's head cheerleader using politically manipulated statistics to bolster his political scheming to become County Executive. Forest City and Mayor Noam Bramson are a dynamic-duo bent on fleecing taxpayers for corporate profit and political gains.