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Recommended Action Plan for Downtown Redevelopment Presented to City Council

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Recommended Action Plan for Downtown Redevelopment Presented to City Council

August 22, 2015 - 18:57
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Recommended Action Plan for Downtown Redevelopment Presented to City Council

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY --The City of New Rochelle and its selected Master Developer, RDRXR yesterday released the Recommended Action Plan (RAP), outlining their vision for a reinvigorated, thriving and diverse mixed-use downtown and transit center.

Since their unanimous approval as Master Developer by City Council last December, RDRXR has worked with the City and the community to co-create the Recommended Action Plan.  The RAP builds on the foundation of past and present planning efforts undertaken by the City relating to the downtown area and transit center, with the goal of creating a vibrant, ethnically and culturally diverse community that draws people from across New Rochelle and throughout Westchester and the wider region.  

In addition to analyzing previously and newly conducted planning studies, the RAP also includes a report and analysis of stakeholder and community input received through RDRXR’s Crowdsourced Placemaking (CSPM) process, as well as recommendations for zoning code amendments and other complementary programs and investments..

The RAP envisions a downtown and transit area that would include a healthy and exciting mix of housing options, retail, commercial, office, hotel space, as well as community and cultural facilities.  In developing the plan, RDRXR and the City studied the projected market opportunities in the area, based on forecast economic and demographic trends.  

The public outreach process has been among the City’s most comprehensive, with over a thousand members engaged online and dozens of meetings across the City attended by hundreds of residents and stakeholders. Over one hundred different ideas were generated for downtown, with the most popular ideas included in the Plan.

"These recommendations, the product of months of hard work and community input, will reduce barriers to private investment by establishing clear, predictable development rights, and by eliminating the high cost of project-specific environmental reviews,” said Mayor Noam Bramson. “More than ever before, New Rochelle will be open for business and ready to welcome any investor who shares our vision for a thriving, inclusive downtown."

Donald Monti, President and CEO of Renaissance Downtowns noted, “This is an exciting time to be in New Rochelle – the City has been great to work with, and the community has really embraced the opportunity to be involved throughout this open and transparent process. The culmination of this model Public-Private Partnership will be a re-invigorated and revitalized downtown for all New Rochelle residents and visitors to enjoy.”

“We are pleased to be taking this important step towards creating a better future for New Rochelle," said Scott Rechler, Chairman and CEO of RXR Reality.  "This is an exciting time for the city and we look forward to working closely with city officials and the community as the process continues.”

The Downtown Development Project- including the Recommended Action Plan- can be viewed on the City website at www.newrochelleny.com. The direct link to the RAP is www.newrochelleny.com/downtownRAP

The City and RDRXR will now focus on completing the requirements of the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act, as a part of which a draft generic environmental impact statement will be presented to the City Council in mid-September.  Thereafter, the City Council will be asked to consider the plan for formal approval and adoption.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Through a number of studies and planning exercises, critiqued and refined with the assistance of several nationally recognized professional planning and design experts, the City of New Rochelle in 2014 identified a set of real estate development goals and objectives it seeks to implement over the next several years. 

The overarching concept for development downtown was to create an active, mixed-use district with convenient, safe, and pleasant access to the New Rochelle Transportation Center, incorporating economically diverse high quality housing, modern retail, and commercial, office and hotel space integrated with a well-designed pedestrian friendly streetscape and by an abundance of green space.

To that end, the New Rochelle City Council unanimously approved a Master Developer Agreement with RDRXR in December 2014, signaling the start of the largest and most significant economic development initiative in the city’s history. Further information can be viewed at www.newrochelleny.com/RDRXR