Downtown New Rochelle is getting a makeover as part of the governor’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
In September last year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that that New Rochelle has been chosen as one of 10 municipalities throughout the state to receiving the funding that is designed to “help communities boost their economies by transforming downtowns into vibrant neighborhoods.”
The grant is designed to accelerate work on the mile-long Lincoln Avenue Corridor.
"With the help of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, New Rochelle will achieve greater neighborhood development, improved community spaces, and new opportunities for education and workforce advancement," Cuomo said. "These targeted investments will further enhance the city's dynamic culture and its intertwined professional and residential environments."
Officials said that the Downtown New Rochelle Strategic Investment Plan will build upon significant public-private investment over the past few years to spur commercial, residential, and mixed-use development in the city.
“Investments will leverage city resources and private investments to forge connections between residential neighborhoods in the northern portion of the corridor with commercial, institutional, and cultural resources to the south.
“The city envisions infrastructure improvements that will improve pedestrian and traffic circulation and extend the downtown's walkable, sustainable, transit-oriented design into this corridor to create a bustling environment in which to live and work.”
"The projects funded by the DRI will forge stronger physical, economic, and social links between our burgeoning downtown and the Lincoln Avenue corridor, provide for a transformative, historic investment in infrastructure, open space, and mobility, improve public safety, and help all people in New Rochelle benefit from inclusive growth and prosperity,” New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson said.
Planned projects include the installation of complete streets amenities and traffic calming measures along the Lincoln Avenue Corridor which will improve safety for pedestrians. City officials will also revise zoning to encourage “neighborhood-scale development.”
A stretch of Memorial Highway will be removed and repurposed as public open space to “provide residents with recreation opportunities and laying the groundwork for the development of (a new) recreation center.”
With the funding, officials have also announced plans to create a Black Box Theater and Art Education Center, and will upgrade Lincoln Park with a public comfort station. The plan also calls for the a new park development on the corner of Winthrop Avenue and Brook Street, which will provide residents in an adjacent affordable housing development recreation space.
“New Rochelle has a vibrant arts and culture scene, and the city is working to transform its southern neighborhoods to increase walkability and accessibility of its downtown district," Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, said while making the announcement.
"Investment in these projects will improve connectivity, linking downtown with the Lincoln Avenue Corridor, provide residents with new recreational opportunities, and enhance quality of life. We are focused on revitalizing the Mid-Hudson region by strategically supporting economic development that continues to attract businesses and strengthen the economy for generations to come."
New Rochelle City Councilman Jared Rice, who helped spearhead the proposal, celebrated the news on Facebook.
“Yesterday was the culmination of three years worth of planning and hard work as Lieutenant Governor Hochul announced the winning projects from our $10 million dollar DRI grant,” he posted. "It has been an amazing journey to take step by step with my community; I can’t wait to see the finished product.”
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