Save Our Armory Advised to Repackage Cause in More “Compelling Way”

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Save Our Armory Advised to Repackage Cause in More “Compelling Way”

June 28, 2009 - 17:57

Although the developer for Echo Bay has done nothing to further his plans, the SOA (Save Our Armory) committee is continuing to raise questions about the Armory’s future.  Forest City Residential has plans to demolish this building listed in “New Rochelle A Tour Guide to Historically Significant Sites.”(2006)   While at least one member of the New Rochelle City Council has publicly stated his opposition to tearing down this building, the City Council has not officially stated their position.  However, at a SOA committee meeting on June 26 the message was clear:  the building should be preserved for future generations.  Jim Killoran echoed the sentiments of the group when he said we must get to the point where we want to “save our history.”

Peter Parente, Co-Chair of the SOA committee, repeated a common theme of the committee that inspections of the Armory building showed the structure was “intact and very salvageable.” Leroy Grayson added, the city “does not maintain its buildings.” Parente suggested that a letter could be sent to Council saying, “200 people would clean the Armory.” John D'Alois suggested asking for a copy of the city’s Armory contract/

The founder of the New Rochelle talk of the Sound website, Robert Cox, felt information under the Freedom of Information law should be used when requesting information, which would give the city five days to answer and 22 days to produce the requested documents. Further, a reason must be given if the documents are not forthcoming.

Rob Biagi felt it was necessary to get the residents to hear more about this cause using the media or getting a celebrity to bring attention to the cause.

After Parente suggested bringing as many people as possible to the City Council meeting on July 14 for Citizens to be Heard, Robert Cox urged a persistent on-line presence because more than half of the people now get their news on-line, especially young people. Since a number of Cox’s breaking stories have gone national and international in the media, the question was raised, ”Does the Mayor fear coast to coast publicity?” He urged the SOA group to package their cause in a “compelling way.”

Save Our Armory Advised to Repackage Cause in More “Compelling Way” by Peggy Godfrey in Westchester Hearld, June 29, 2009

There are 10 Comments

the plan is dead. Thank god. The design, layout, 600 apartments and 43 townhouses was the stupidest thing I ever heard. More apartments? The avalon alone is proof enough that apartments do not help our community. Apartments are for transients, we want people that take an active interest in the city. Maybe when people wake up and start voting differently, New Rochelle can start heading in the right direction.

The proposed layout for Echo Bay uses so many apartments (rentals) is specifically chosen because it allows he developer to qualify for IDA tax abatements and Pilot programs , which as you know , has done NOTHING for the city except lose money for the tax baser. About two years ago , Mayor Bramson made a promise to 25 or so residents that there would be "no more abatements or Pilot programs" . All of these people witnessed this . That was 6 months or so prior to the city announcing a new Pilot Program for Capelli. The Mayor lied on two fronts. First by telling the lie of no more , secondly by stating a fact he knowingly has no say over . The IDA (industrial development agency) operates independently of city council (the mayor knows that) and their decisions do not need approval from council . Mr Trangucci would like to change that but he has no support from the other council members as far as I know . There IS a better way for Echo Bay but the city council (most of them ) are stonewalling to defer to Forest City (the developer) for political rteasons . Some have suggested that by paving the way for favored developers to make huge amounts of money now , that insures a healthy campaign warchest later, funded by those developers as recompense for earlier profit. It is no secret that Mr Bramson has higher goals than just being a Mayor. This is his stepping stone. Follow Ms Lowey if you want , Mr Bramson , but don't you dare sell New Rochele down the river to do it . He is perfectly happy destroying our history and giving away our tax base to further his own agenda . New Rochelle's agenda should come before the wishes of a transient mayor . Support New Rochelle , not Mayor Bramson .

to destroy the place where he came from!! Do you know how stupid you sound? What was your interest in any of this? What did you lose out on the mayor's decision involving this situation? Stop your campaign and move on to your next cause.

To set himself up for Nita Lowey's representative seat when she retires. He will do anything and everything to ensure his nomination by the democratic party. He will sell David's Island to the county for a pittance (a county that doesn't have enough money to keep their current parks open or in good shape). He will give away tax abatements just as Idoni did before he got his nice little job as country clerk...You deserve what you vote for!

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black . Well Mrs Bramson , or whoever you are , your stupidity can only be rivaled by your ignorance . To think that this kind of polotical maneuvering doesn't happen can only mean you live in a completely delusional world . As for my stake , I want NR to be successful and prosperous , not overdeveloped and a third world city . Fair taxes , not being dragged over the coals everytime someone gets a pipe dream of helping out some poor developer. What's YOUR stake ? Riding the coat-tails because you have no personal value of your own ? What are you, a north end asskisser ? People like YOU are exactly why we have the kind of problems we see today . Corrupt school board , Council out of control chasing their dreams of artificially inflated egos , a sagging Main St. Thanks to you imbeciles the city is constantly being sold down the river at the expense of the taxpayer . Pull your head out of Mr B's ass long enough to see what's really going on . I'll accept your apology now , thank you .

According to Abe Naperstek from Forest City (the developer) there will be 300 rooms of hotel space next to the sewage treatment plant. Welcome to New Rochelle , stay in our luxury hotel perched on top of a swere plant . What a great tourist catch. Breathe in the "culture" of new Rochelle while you visit . The whole plan stinks . If it's going to cost the city 20 million in tax abatements , I would rather bond 5 million to use the Armory for a showcase that makes New Rochelle proud and makes money. The city yard would go where the hotel will go and save the life of the city worker that would be killed by flying debris or ice falling from the thruway at the beechwood location.

Nobody in their right mind cares about the armory right now! We have Arlington National cemetary and many other national monuments to our fallen soldiers. We don't want to promote war anymore so shut up about the stupid armory.

Enough already.

Sounds like a tree hugging liberal. We don't promote wars we fight wars and because of people like you we have one hand tied behind our backs. Tell the soldiers in Afghanistan or Iraq that we have enough monuments and cemeteries to honor our fallen soldiers. What about those who are yet to fall? Or those who come back and aren't whole? We need housing and care for these brave Americans to guarantee them their rightful place in society. They must have an easy path to the American Dream. The Armory can be resurrected to once again help the men and women serving in our armed forces. There are no good wars and no bad peace but until we find Shangri-La we will do what’s right.

They can make it part of the entire Trump Cappelli experience also. They can drive them by Bentley to the Hotel in Echo Bay to smell the Bouquet...
Nothing like smart planning in the process. If you ask me this Bramson guy and this King guy are just geniously repackaging something bad and offering it up as good. Where can I sign on for this.
I should buy a Trump Cappelli apartment and then take the Bentley to the Hotel to enjoy the wonder of it all....I hope they have outside dinning right adjacent to the experience.

The issue involved goes beyond saving a piece of history. Frankly, that is a bit overstated. a community that values a so called piece of history does not put it to use in the ways that the armory was used (halloween attraction, etc) prior to echo bay. That is the only part of this that disturbs me; all of a sudden many people are adding historic value to something that few considered before or, at least, I was never personally aware of any concerted effort to preserve and protect this structure.
As a veteran, my views were always that it was more of a transitional area for troops headed overseas. That said, my views were that most veterans would care for community values and history in the same ways that we would think of these when shipping overseas In my generation, this meant to protect and our way of life, our families and the democratic society we love and respect.
My views have changed concerning the armory. It is still brick and mortar but the greater sin is the absence of a preservation of city values by city hall and the majority of the council and not those whose lapses have been of a far lesser nature. In the light of day these are much more understandable and worthy of respect. In al honesty,I don't see this as a piece of our history, but as an expression, belatedly or otherwise, of something of great value to the community. If we discover this to be the case years later, so be it.
So, save the armory! It can be done. in fact, I believe someone in Forest City said it was possible. Other developers,who did not get the contract, were more than willing to keep it in their plan. All of
this could be moot. Napersink may be on the proverbial deck of the Titanic. Echo Bay is at greater risk than the other pending projects in New Roc if for no other reason than its sheer size and scope. In any event, I do not believe in the developer or their reprsentatives. They appear too slick and offer no evidence of any consideration to the city and its electorate. Say what you will about Cappelli, his footprint, as well as his fingerprints are all over the City. I will take him over Napersink and that lot any time. Can a compelling case be made? Likely so, but who will listen in New Roc? Yes, it can be done. it is called the will of the people. For one, i would want to hear a definitive statement from Forest City that they cannot amend their proposal without tearing down the armory. I would want to hear if there are other developers still interested in the property. If so, I as a tax payer would be willing to buy out Forest City if the will of the people found it important enough. and, surely, if this did not come to pass, I would demand, absolutely demand redeemable value from Forest City. build a skating rink for the families, not the athletic community -- make it like the current New Roc arangement and even more important, build a fitting memorial to the men and women who left this facility and went overseas.
I have many good friends who support the armory. I am with you. However, i wish that you would simply step up or at least think that your agenda, your feelings have been shaped by the moment. This is still brick and mortar; lets honor the veterans, the families, and the good people who are backing this for the right reason.
And, as far as Echo Bay is concerned, it probably is a good thing for the community. We need to separate fish from fowl. the development should not be so tightly tied to the armory; we need to think about what is important. it does not appear as if the city or council is (except Lou Trangucci) in this case. But, why expect more -- you rarely hear their voices on significant issues like the school district from the city or council. Our voices are Cox, Negrin, Godfrey, and some others we know by nom de plumes or nicknames.
since I tend to ramble, let me reiterate my support for the armory as a symbolic representation of the will of a hell of a lot of good people; many of them veterans. I don't support it for any other reason
but if some of our best people; foremost a Jim Killoran and many like him are for it, I am proud to add one more voice to the chorus. Warren Gross