South End Civic League Hears Two Developers (Westchester Times Tribune)
Two prospective developers for the Weyman Avenue area presented their proposals to the South End Civic League members at their December meeting. Mark Weingarten, attorney for Joe Simone, President of the Simone Development Company, explained that the City of New Rochelle zoned the parcel that includes Home Depot, Costco and Linens and Things for large scale retail. He felt Simone's proposed development would generate $400,000 in taxes for New Rochelle and 225 full time jobs.
The plan would connect a two level parking lot from Linens and Things to the Costco parking lot. It also includes a new two level retail building at the entrance of the Costco parking lot. Mitch Spalin, Vice President of the South End Civic League, asked if it would be a two level store. She was told it could be one or two stores.
Other concerns addressed were the promise that a traffic study would be completed and that no abatements or IDA tax PILOTS would be sought. Flooding and the capping of the land were discussed. Weingarten claimed their engineers would properly cap the property which years ago had been a dump. He concluded that the site has great exposure to I-95 and was adjacent to its exit.
The proposal by Ron Getlan to build a diner on the same site as CVS ran into opposition almost immediately over the CVS driveway which is very difficult for cars to get in and out of now. Elaine M. Waltz, President of the South End Civic League, offered comments about the traffic on Weyman Avenue. She said that the traffic on the week-ends backs up from Main Street all the way down to John Street and beyond. Ken Spilan suggested that a right turn on red at the corner of Weyman Avenue and Main Street would help ease the traffic on Weyman. Gatlan proposed another right turn as an exit lane at the upper part of the CVS property. However, where this exit is proposed the traffic is always backed up making it impossible for any car to exit the property at the proposed new driveway. This diner proposal requires a zoning change. Numerous objections arose. When Bob Petrucci, a marketing consultant, asked everyone present if another exit on Weyman Avenue was viable, no one felt it was.
Before the club's holiday party, Councilman Lou Trangucci said the city "had given away the store" with Avalon and the IDA benefits. The downtown density bonus could result in 500 new children for the schools. Further building would necessitate increasing the fire department. A consultant for New York City said for a high rise fire two shifts of 36 firefighters are needed, but New Rochelle only has 27 firefighters on staff at any given time. "Right now," Trangucci said, "we still need 25 firefighters."