After more than a year of research, planning and community outreach, the City Council approved a new zoning plan that “paves the way for the most significant economic rebirth in the city’s historic downtown” on Tuesday night.
According to city officials, “the new zoning provides a clear and transparent roadmap for investment to developers and property owners, while also setting design standards and community benefit requirements intended to create a thriving, attractive and sustainable city center.”
The new plan, laid out by master developers RDRXR, calls for nearly 1 million-square-feet in new retail space, 1.8-million-square-feet of commercial office locations, medical office space and 5,500 residential apartments, hundreds of which will be deemed affordable.
With the new zoning plan in place, New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson noted that developers will now have it much easier to quickly and decisively move forward with developments.
"Our plan is more than just a vision; it's a detailed road-map for accomplishing that vision, because it provides developers with the clearest path for investing successfully in New Rochelle," he said. "Every expectation and requirement is defined up front, the environmental review is already completed, the zoning provides for flexibility in response to the market, and the approval process places professionalism ahead of politics."
The community has been heavily involved in helping to shape RDRXR’s plan, mostly through its Crowdsourced Placemaking program that saw thousands of residents collaborating with developers through a series of meetings, events and social media interaction.
RXR Realty CEO Scott Rechler said that New Rochelle will see unprecedented growth, bringing in thousands of new residents and creating hundreds of jobs.
“The rezoning will not only bring new employment opportunities and services to the city’s residents, but will also attract significant new private investment to the city and generate tens of millions of dollars in incremental tax revenue to allow the city to continue to prosper in years to come,” he said. “(Our plan) will build on and enhance all that is special about this unique Westchester community.”
Bramson added that he has "never concluded a year with a greater sense of satisfaction," and is looking forward to seeing the redevelopment through to conclusion.
“With this unanimous, bipartisan vote, the City Council gives its final approval to the most ambitious downtown development in New Rochelle’s history,” he said while announcing the decision. “Together, we declare: ‘New Rochelle is open for business.’”
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