Over the last several months at Citizens to be Heard and to several Council Members and City Staff, I have said, The City of New Rochelle needs to do a better job of communicating what is going on in terms of Development and City related topics. The city needs to inform the citizens better, start a campaign for New Rochelle, what developing New Rochelle. Put out monthly a newsletter that comes from the city manager and development commissioner. A brand is a process not just a word, a brand must be built”.
I guess someone was listening and actually taking notes. Back on January 21, 2015, it was announced that RDRXR was advertising for a Community Liaison on Craigslist. The Liaison will interact with the New Rochelle community and represent Renaissance Downtowns-RXR Realty. The Liaison will facilitate involvement of the community in the process.
RDRXR has already held its first meeting to solicit residents’ input about their thoughts and vision for Downtown New Rochelle. There will be ongoing Idea Generating Meet-Up’s which are co-creation meetings to define a vision for downtown New Rochelle.
The first meeting on March 30, 2015 was about Crowdsourced Placemaking.
From the web site you will read that, “Crowdsourced Placemaking is the act of taking a project traditionally performed by an institution and outsourcing it to a larger, committed community with shared values, in the form of an open call – resulting in a collaborative transformation of disinvested areas into places of the soul that uplift us and connect us to one another”.
We did a kick off and introduction of the people and the process. We actually had two way conversations. No politics. At the end of the first meeting the group named the new web site which is now known as New Rochelle Future or NRfuture. You can visit the site here: http://nrfuture.com/
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday evening, April 14, 2015, from 6:30-8:30 pm, at Cross-Cultural Solutions, 2 Clinton Place, New Rochelle, NY. The best places to park are (1) in the Church St/Division St garage and walk up Clinton Pl to Locust Ave or (2) in New Roc City on the lowest level (off LeCount Pl) and walk east along LeCount Pl/Locust Ave to Clinton Pl.
For more information and to RSVP, visit: http://nrfuture.com/.
I want to believe that City Management and City Council were listening to me and it was all my idea, but I doubt it, but it’s a start. What I wanted takes the process a step further for the city and reaches deeper into what is developing in all parts of The City of New Rochelle.
They have actually finally done so. The City of New Rochelle now has a Bi-Annual Newsletter. The latest Winter-Spring Newsletter with updates on spring events, development, branding, keeping your home safe and more!.
That brings us back to, “What else is Developing New Rochelle”?
Along with Branding, Master Developers, and RFP’s, we will also begin to see changes along the North Avenue Corridor for the start of 2015. We have two projects in the area which will be moving forward, the Iona North Avenue Residence Hall and the Young project at 730 North Avenue next to the Beechmont and McDonald's. The Young apartments at 730 North Ave and the new Iona dorm at the diner site have been approved.
The New Rochelle Planning Board granted Iona a special permit and site plan approval for the multi-use building on North Avenue after a public hearing on December 15, 2014. They received approval from the City of New Rochelle and began site preparation including demolition of the Mirage Diner building.
The information on the Iona North Avenue Residence Hall web page has been update to contain more information.
Also in the near future, Luxury apartment buildings will soon be rising in sections of New Rochelle that have been traditionally zoned for commercial buildings. There are plans to begin construction this spring on luxury rentals near the train station. The plans of two different developers are to build a 5-story building on the corner of 371 North Avenue and 15 Park Place and also a 5-story building on the corner of 45 Burling Lane and 70 Grand St. You can read more about this at Westfaironline:
It is simply amazing how once we get the White Elephant of Forest City Echo Bay dropped that The City of New Rochelle starts to move forward. Imagine where New Rochelle could be if that were done several years and several thousands of dollars and man hours earlier. I hope this is a glimpse of good things to come for New Rochelle. I believe it is. Only time will tell. Again, keep the politics out of it and let the City Manager and the City Staff do what they need to do and are paid to do. They will be able to drive New Rochelle into the future.