Last week, city officials of New Rochelle released a recommended action plan that detailed a large-scale renovation project for the city’s downtown area. If formally approved by the City Council, it will be one of the largest redevelopment projects implemented in the history of New Rochelle.
The plan would develop millions of square feet of mixed-use space in the city’s downtown.
Master-developer RDRXR Realty LLC has worked with the city to create a plan that uses the innovative Unified Development Approach.
The plan “provides a framework that facilitates a comprehensive mixed-use redevelopment strategy that brings together community stakeholders to collectively create and implement a shared redevelopment vision.” This approach has been implemented to ensure project sustainability, which will increase social, economic and environmental benefits.
The plan builds upon both past and existing efforts completed by the city to develop a revitalized, mixed-use downtown area. This will include high quality housing for families of diverse incomes, modern retail, commercial, office, hotel space, and civic uses, with a well-defined, integrated pedestrian-friendly streetscape and safe access to the New Rochelle Transportation Center. Planners have also proposed building a rooftop recreation facility over the New Rochelle Transit Center Garage at Station Place.
The plan specifies the different areas of development in New Rochelle. These will include the establishment of the following go-to areas in future downtown New Rochelle. Taken directly from the plan, the specified areas are:
Downtown Core – Located within a few blocks from the New Rochelle Transit Center and Main Street, this will become the bustling urban center. With tall buildings, retail shopping, restaurants, civic events and downtown living; the Downtown Core will become the true image of a new city.
Downtown District – Anderson, Church, Division and Huguenot streets will provide and opportunity for larger, national retailers, office and residential anchors, plus an enhanced skyline. This will attract visitors to the city, while supporting downtown business activity.
Gateway Transition Area – This area will offer opportunities for artisan production, higher education, institutional employment, commercial and light industrial uses. It could also offer affordable space for entrepreneurs and small artisan workshops, which will be in close proximity to the emerging Downtown West Arts District.
River Street Commercial District – This district will capture both waterfront living and its recreational uses in the East End. Future zoning plans are planned to secure a greater portion of the office market and will offer greater incentive to visit the revitalized downtown area.
Wellness District – With close proximity to Montefiore Hospital and convenient access to public transportation, this area is proposed to become the medical office, mixed-use, and wellness services district.
North of Lincoln District – This district will offer optimal parking at City Hall for evening uses, to promote nightlife, and continue to grow the daytime population.
The focus for the plan will be placed on generating safe, convenient public use of the downtown area, according to the document. The redevelopment will foster a sense of security within the community, generate job and career opportunities, build upon the economic value of the Downtown Core, and attract new residents.
RDRXR and the city have also implemented a program for citizens of New Rochelle to get involved: NR Future. The program will be a combination of social networking, in-person meetings, and events.
The project could begin within the next 18 to 24 months, according to New Rochelle Mayor Noam Branson.
“We have a historic opportunity to achieve a dramatic, positive transformation of New Rochelle’s downtown and transit area,” New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson said. “And through an inclusive, transparent planning process, every resident of New Rochelle will have a voice in shaping our future.”