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Echo Bay Plan Presented to Council

While smaller than first envisioned, the project would still have a dramatic effect on its surroundings.

Revised Proposal Includes Parkland, Housing, Shops

Last week, Forest City Residential presented to the City Council revised plans for the Echo Bay waterfront. The new proposal, situated on roughly 11 acres bounded by East Main Street and Long Island Sound, envisions: parkland, housing and shops; environmental remediation of contaminated land; and full public access to the shoreline.

This new configuration is based on a year of analysis by both the City and the developer. It reflects greater experience with the constraints and opportunities on the site, and it also accounts for significant changes in the economic climate since the project’s original conception back in 2007.

While smaller than first envisioned, the project would still have a dramatic effect on its surroundings. It would be New Rochelle’s largest new development in about 20 years and the largest new park in almost 40 years. In addition, it is laid out to permit integration into a broader redevelopment of the area and, thereby, serve as a catalyst for future waterfront improvements.

The plan anticipates the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the former Armory, and leaves judgments about the future of this structure to the City. The Council could opt to issue a request for proposals for the Armory and then embed the winning reuse model into the overall waterfront project.

The Council must now decide whether to adopt a fresh Memorandum of Understanding with Forest City Residential that reflects the content of this revised proposal. If the Council chooses to proceed, then Forest City will be responsible for an extensive (and costly) environmental review that would serve as the basis for further public discussion and comment.

You can learn much more in last week’s presentation from Forest City to the City Council.

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 March 19, 2012 at 08:46 PM
This is a disaster in the making if the city goes forward. Not only is Echo Bay adjacent to a larger than life sewage plant next door, the waterfront is mostly mud flats at low tide. On top of the $1 million in bond payments New Rochelle will pay for the next 20 years to unnecessarily move its public works yard, the development will pay NOTHING in property taxes (called abatement) for 20 years also. If you thought last January's 10+% tax increase was bad, you can expect 10+% increases for the foreseeable future if this goes forward. Not to be outdone, our schools will also need to be expanded to handle the influx of new students that will move here. Who's on the hook to pay for all this? The people that are paying taxes now, the regular Joes and Janes out there who could careless what happens to Echo Bay so long as it doesn't bankrupt them which in the long run it will if the mayor gets his way and they don’t watch out. And let's not forget the Armory has deed restrictions on it that prevent the city from giving it to Forest City and the Save Our Armory group aren't going away anytime soon. Expect that to be resolved in the courts. I also love it when developers produce their own environmental impact studies. There always seem to be a minimal impact to everything, especially the schools!
Billy March 19, 2012 at 10:21 PM
free
Noam Bramson March 19, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Thank you for your comments and questions. The financial terms of the Echo Bay project have not yet been determined, and are among the many important considerations that would be fully explored in the context of an environmental review. That said, the City's independent financial analysis demonstrates that there are many ways to structure a PILOT agreement that would result in a net benefit to the taxpayers. The sale price of the land has also not been determined and would be set in conjunction with required developer contributions to infrastructure and public improvements on the site.
Noam Bramson March 20, 2012 at 09:15 AM
The plant has been expanded and upgraded in order to improve its treatment capacity. The new design will also provide better odor control. This is a Westchester County project, however, and is not under the City's jurisdiction, so I recommend that you obtain more detailed information from the County Department of Environment Facilities at http://environment.westchestergov.com/contact-us.
Martin Sanchez March 20, 2012 at 11:28 AM
As the Mayor says, it's free!
fuzzy March 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM
I thought the city planning board had to approve this project.There would be some kind of record there about to the project's height?

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