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New Rochelle BID Announces $500,000 Grant for Facade Improvement Program

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New Rochelle BID Announces $500,000 Grant for Facade Improvement Program

December 13, 2011 - 19:17
3 comments

BID 500K

New York State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin joined local officials from the City of New Rochelle and the New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District to announce receipt of a $500,000 New York State Main Street grant for the BID’s Downtown Façade Improvement Program.

Pictured above from left to right are New Rochelle Development Commissioner Michael Freimuth, New Rochelle City Manager Charles B. Strome, Amy Paulin, Monroe College Vice President and BID Board President Marc Jerome, New Rochelle City Council member and BID Board member Albert Tarantino, and several other unidentified BID Board members. Not visible in the photo is BID Executive Director Ralph DiBart. Also on hand was New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson and Council Member-Elect Ivar Hyden among others.

Talk of the Sound reported on the grant and the program behind it last week: New Rochelle BID Awarded $500,000 Grant for Facade Improvement Program

PHOTO CREDIT: EyeonNewRoc

There are 3 Comments

Where was resident Rep of the BID James O'Toole?

I am not as happy as those gathered in the photograph for two reasons; (1) facade improvement is the least of our concerns on downtown development. I wish there was more energy and more funding available for substance over form. The old saying, "handsome is as handsome does applies here." A beautiful facade is nice, admirable and desirable in situations where we can reasonably expect that it is being used by profit making small businesses with good lease arrangements, proper zoning, and not by a succession of new lessees opening up nail salons, store fron churches, extensions of Monroe College, and dollar emporiums.

I want to see this array of city talent gathered when a new and vibrant business opens under conditions described endlessly by me and others about a viable district, its needs, its security, and so forth. Perhaps the City can take possession of a building or two with less than excellent facades, move in some 515 North Avenue headquarters people as well as a police precinct.

And, yes, if this is a matching grant and I think it is, the amount of matching money will be very, very hard to come by and I hope that the politicians gathered for this festive occasion: state, city or otherwise, will understand that and do no harm to first providers or other important city staff. Perhaps dismissing a manager or two dealing with the building and fee collection businesses might be a way to match funds; (1) you put the funds in escrow and (2) the staff who are making life miserable for small business folks on signage, etc. get the message.

When will people see beyond the narrow scope of an event and tie it together with the more important outcomes of building a revenue base.

Ivar, you were there and should be, but I am calling on you in your first assignment to place form over substance. You are an artistic person by inclination and profession so I look toward you more than anyone else to balance the situation. Believe me I am a great fan of facades; our City has a proud history of creative process and these matters are urgent. But, first things first. Start by funding the matching funds in an inviolate dedicated escrow fund and work on the steps necessary to change the business culture downtown. I read your Sound Report interview and you seem both sensitive and aware of this requirement.

I know you can't see him but Mayor Bramson is there. Are you disappointed in him also?

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