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.

Major Downtown Milestone: Groundbreaking at 587 Main

587 Main Street
587 Main Street

Today, New Rochelle took a giant step toward achieving our ambitious downtown development plans, as we broke ground for a new 28-story building at 587 Main Street, the site of a former Loew’s theater.

Renovated theater facade leading to cultural center.
Renovated theater facade leading to cultural center.

This is the first major project from our master developers.  When completed, it will feature almost 300 apartments, 17,000 square feet for commercial uses, and – in an especially exciting touch – a 10,000 square foot performance space.   The positive and transformative impact on both Main and Huguenot Streets should be dramatic.

A nighttime perspective from Huguenot Street.
A nighttime perspective from Huguenot Street.

You can read more in this press release or in this article from the Wall Street Journal.  And here’s the text of my own remarks at the groundbreaking.

Bottom line: our downtown development plan is working, successfully attracting both large-scale and small-scale investment.  As a result, during the next few years, New Rochelle will become a healthier city, where residents and visitors of every kind can find a place to shop, a place to work, a place to meet, or a place to live.