Waterfront Plan Advances

Last night, the City Council approved a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Twining Properties for the development of the Long Island Sound waterfront at Echo Bay — a large and important step toward reclaiming the shoreline for the public’s use and enjoyment.

Called “Pratt Landing,” the project envisions a mix of homes, shops, offices, hotel space, and parkland with a continuous public promenade at the water’s edge.  There’s more about the project in this prior post.

Over the next 12 – 18 months, Twining will prepare an environmental impact statement that comprehensively analyzes Pratt Landing’s benefits, costs, and effects.  Public input will be welcomed and aspects of the project could certainly change prior to final approval by the City Council.

The right kind of waterfront development can strengthen our local economy, improve our environment, create new jobs and recreational opportunities, and enhance property values.  So I am encouraged that this positive vision is moving forward.

There’s more information in this press release.

New Ro Bond Rating Upgraded – Best in 80 Years!

Great news for New Rochelle taxpayers: Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the City’s bond rating to Aa2.  That’s our best bond rating in more than 80 years!  By reducing borrowing costs, the upgrade should save us hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In Moody’s words, “the upgrade reflects the city’s multi-year trend of operational surpluses and the material improvement to its financial position after years of structural imbalance. The rating further reflects the city’s stabilizing tax base and above-average wealth levels, as well as its modest pension and debt burden. The rating additionally incorporates the city’s expectation to draw on financial reserves in fiscal 2017 and its forthcoming debt issuance as part of its ten-year capital plan.”

Here’s a press release with more, as well as Moody’s full report.

New Ro Seeks Development Proposals at 45 Harrison

New Rochelle is seeking proposals for the redevelopment of 45 Harrison Street.  That’s where our aging downtown fire station is located, and any new development there would be coupled with the construction of a new, modern fire house, either on- or off-site.

While this property is not among the publicly-owned sites committed to our master developers at RDRXR, the prospects for investment at 45 Harrison will still be enhanced by other provisions of our ambitious downtown development framework: a flexible, form-based zoning code and a completed environmental review.

The fire station sits on a roughly 3/4 acre property, but the development footprint could potentially more than double with the inclusion of the nearby Cedar Street extension, an unnecessary and overbuilt road that dates back to the urban renewal days of the 1960s.  The height limit for the site is 28 stories.

The issuance of this request for proposals (RFP) demonstrates New Rochelle’s determination to accomplish the goals of our redevelopment plan.  We are pushing on multiple fronts to achieve a positive transformation of our entire downtown area.

You can read the full RFP here.  Proposals are due on March 10th.