Council Approves 60-Day Extension For Echo Bay Development Agreement

The City Council, City staff, and the developers need a little time to digest the recent studies and consider the prospects and terms for moving forward.

Bigger Decisions Expected This Spring

For several years, New Rochelle has worked with developers Forest City Residential to improve the Echo Bay waterfront. The potential of our shoreline is significant—the right kind of development could enhance recreational opportunities, strengthen neighborhoods and improve our economy. But achieving these goals means surmounting significant environmental and financial hurdles. The complexities of the site, together with the weakness of the national economy, have forced us to delay the project and to reevaluate many of its components.

The public-private agreement that describes a project’s components and defines the responsibilities of involved parties is called a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). When the City Council last extended Forest City’s MOU one year ago, we simultaneously launched analyses of: (1) the public costs and benefits associated with waterfront development; (2) options for the modernization of the City’s public works yard; and (3) the adaptive re-use potential of the former Armory on East Main Street. These studies were funded by Forest City Residential, but conducted independently by the City, without any influence from the developer.

Now that these studies have been completed, the City Council, City staff and the developers need a little time to digest the information and consider the prospects and terms for moving forward. With this in mind, the City Council voted last night to extend Forest City’s MOU by 60 days. The vote should not be seen as a judgment on the merits of the project, but rather as a brief interim step intended to ensure that decision-making is guided by a complete understanding of our choices.

When the 60-day extension expires in the late winter/early spring, we’ll have a much bigger debate about whether and how to renew our partnership with Forest City. I remain fully committed to the goal of revitalizing New Rochelle’s waterfront and will keep that objective foremost in mind as we evaluate next steps.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Billy January 18, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Do they need the extra 60 days to figure out how to make a few more million dollars off their project in New Rochelle? This is all about money and how much Forest City can make at the expense of the citizens of New Rochelle. They don't really care about New Rochelle, its all about the bottom line.
Martin Sanchez January 18, 2012 at 08:00 PM
The relocation of the DPW yard to this area is not urgent. Given our economic situation, we must re-think what our priorities are. A couple of years ago when the relocation was presented by the Mayor, there was no input nor opinion sought by the residents of the West End. It seemed then, and now, that our opinion and our welfare was not important. I am led to conclude that this effort is nothing more than a strategic case of Environmental racism that will lead to a disproportionate impact of environmental hazards on the overwhelming majority of people of color who live in the West end.
fuzzy January 19, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Mr.Mayor you are wrong on the Vote the "the city council"not all council members voted for the mou extension 2 did vote no on it.


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