The Westchester Board of Legislators voted unanimously on Monday, June 15 to approve a lease for the county’s Family Court on Garden Street in New Rochelle.
The new location will be a 35,000-square-foot space on two floors of a building that is scheduled to be constructed at 26 Garden St., near the New Rochelle Transit Center in downtown.
According to officials, the Board, “spent much of June and July examining the 30-year lease for part of the property to make sure the deal serves the best interests of taxpayers, the needs of the court and the interests of the surrounding community.”
The court is expected to move into the new facility in 2021.
Officials said that the court can no longer remain at its current North Avenue location and “the county has been working for some time to find a suitable new location.”
“I am glad that we have a plan to keep a branch of the Westchester Family Court in New Rochelle for the next 30 years,” Legislator Damon Maher stated. “Not only that, we are having a new state-of-the-art facility built to accommodate an extra judge and ancillary legal and social services. There will also be plenty of parking and access to nearby mass transit for visitation and employees.”
New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson added, "with easy access to mass transit and close proximity to population centers, the new Family Court will be in the best position to serve the residents of our region effectively.”
The Family Court handles matters such as adoption, child custody, guardianship, and paternity, as well as cases of child abuse and neglect and cases of domestic violence.
"For many years the New Rochelle Family Court has been operating in a building that has been inadequate for its needs,” Majority Whip MaryJane Shimsky said. ”I’m proud that finally, we're on the path toward getting a desperately needed new facility, with safe and convenient access for people from all over southeast Westchester.”
There are three family court locations in Westchester -- one in Yonkers, one in White Plains, and one in New Rochelle -- each handling caseloads from different regions.
"Family Court serves people at vulnerable times in their lives," Board Chair Ben Boykin said. "Having the court in a convenient location in a new, modern building will be a great benefit to the residents of New Rochelle, Pelham, Mount Vernon, and the surrounding community.”
Westchester County Executive George Latimer noted, “the approval of this lease is a long time coming, and I’m happy to finally have a new location for the people of this county. My administration and the Board extensively examined this 30-year lease and know that this is the best option for the taxpayers, the courts and the community.
“While the space at 26 Garden Street has to be constructed, it is the best location with easy access to mass transit, close to the center of New Rochelle and the ability to create a state-of-the-art facility. I look forward to cutting the ribbon on this facility in 2021.”
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