New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson threw a curveball during his annual “State of the City” address, announcing that City Hall would be moving from its longtime home on North Avenue back to a new downtown address.
With “the most ambitious downtown redevelopment in New Rochelle history” well underway in Westchester, Bramson announced on Thursday that City Hall would be relocated to a new site downtown, to the base of a high-rise development on Harrison Street.
“(This move) will put the people’s house back in the heart of our city, right between Main Street and Huguenot Street, bringing employees, visitors, and residents closer to shops and eateries, helping to create a more robust daytime office population, and making a bold statement of confidence in our downtown’s future,” Bramson said. “Fifty-five years after it left Main Street, leaving a gap that has never been filled, City Hall is moving back downtown.”
Bramson said that the plan will save tax dollars, with the annual price tag for occupying and operating the new City Hall lower than what they currently pay to operate and maintain current facilities. The school district will inherit the current City Hall, which “opens up new possibilities for classroom or administrative needs or programs, at a much more affordable cost than constructing a new space,” the mayor said.
“I congratulate our hard-charging, inventive Development team for taking the lead on forging such a promising public-private partnership. For our economy, for our city and for our schools, it’s a win-win-win.”
The school district has shared the 121,000-square-foot building for decades, with city government on the ground floor and first floor and the district on the second and third stories. With the move, expected sometime in 2021, the school district will gain an additional 86,000-square-feet of space for instructional space, offices and other uses. District officials said that the business office will work with architects and construction managers to analyze the space to determine the best use of the two floors. This process will also provide estimated costs and timetables for work. Concurrently, the District will conduct an assessment of the student educational space needs. That assessment will include public input sessions.
“This space will open possibilities for the School District,” Schools Superintendent Brian Osborne said. “It’s an exciting project and our guiding principle for how to best use the space will be what is best for our students. We look forward to working with parents, teachers, and the public to how to best take advantage of this expansion of the School District.”
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