Iona College buying property on North Avenue and puts out new RFP!

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Iona College buying property on North Avenue and puts out new RFP!

This morning I went to the Iona College Web Site to look up some information about a public meeting in early October where the college plans to share updates on its master planning process. What is the first thing I see? A Press Release about how Iona College has agreed to Purchase Property on North Avenue. I had also been looking into a Request For Proposal by Iona College for Development of North Avenue. What a surprise. Here are both for you to read.

Press release from the Iona College Web Site September 23, 2013:

New Rochelle, NY (September 23, 2013) Iona College has agreed to purchase the property at 654 North Avenue in New Rochelle, home to Cannone’s Pizza and Campus Wings, within the next 30 days. The property is adjacent to Iona College and has been a strategic priority for several years. The acquisition is consistent with the College's efforts to develop both its campus and North Avenue.

“We support economically viable development and revitalization of North Avenue and see this as an opportunity to extend that interest and our partnerships with New Rochelle business owners and developers,” said Anne Marie Schettini-Lynch, senior vice president for finance and administration. “We look forward to creating more partnerships as we explore options for building student housing and other college facilities on North Avenue.”

The property’s long-term use will be determined by Iona’s campus master planning process. Iona will host a public meeting in early October to share updates on its master planning process and discuss other development interests on North Avenue. That event will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, October 7, in Romita Auditorium of Ryan Library.

In June, the City of New Rochelle approved zoning supporting College-use development on North Avenue. The change resulted from the constructive engagement of neighborhood association leaders, elected officials, city officials, and College representatives via a voluntary planning process.
Iona College, founded in 1940, is located in New Rochelle, Pearl River and Manhattan. The main campus in New Rochelle is a significant private employer and economic engine for the region.

For questions or more information please contact:
Dawn M. Insanalli
Media Relations Office
Iona College, 715 North Avenue, New Rochelle, N.Y. 10801
Office: (914) 637-2726
Mobile: (914) 217-4061
dinsanalli@iona.edu

The change resulted from the constructive engagement of neighborhood association leaders, elected officials, city officials, and College representatives via a voluntary planning process. This was not voluntary, it was necessary because of the over population of the current dorms. Nor was it representative of the opinions of the neighborhoods as was seen after each step of the process.

On Sep 19, 2013, Daily Voice headline:

Iona College Seeks Proposals in Development of North Avenue

http://newrochelle.dailyvoice.com/schools/new-rochelles-iona-college-see...

From the article, Iona College is planning ways to develop North Avenue in New Rochelle and asking the community for proposals in response to a new city zoning legislation. The zoning legislation was adopted in June to supports Iona’s increasing need for college-controlled housing and is expected to help revitalize North Avenue.

At what cost? Was the Fifth Avenue deal just a ploy to get the necessary zoning for the Cannone’s Pizza and Campus Wings site?

What ever happened to New Rochelle’s Comprehensive Plan and the interests of taxpaying citizens? Why are we always in the dark about important issues? These are not deals or plans that were just put together yesterday, they take time and planning. Once again there is personal zoning put in place to benefit Iona and it costs the taxpayers.

Everybody seems to have a say in how New Rochelle is developing, EXCEPT for the people of New Rochelle and the residents who pay taxes!

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