The City of New Rochelle has granted an extension to a developer so that studies for the Echo Bay project can be scrutinized and reasoned decisions made.
"The only thing we are buying tonight is information," said Mayor Noam Bramson, adding that no decisions about any proposed development has been made.
The council voted 5-2 Tuesday to grant the extension.
In May 2008, New Rochelle and Forest City Residential agreed to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the site containing the New Rochelle Armory and the City Yard along East Main Street.
Development Commissioner Michael Freimuth said studies have been completed and presented to the city that contain modified development plans.
He said the best course of action would be to ask for a 60-day extension of the MOU so that city staff and the council could go over the studies and make informed decisions.
Councilman Ivar Hyden, D-District 4, said he was on the original citizens committee for Echo Bay when it was a much different proposed project.
"It was way bigger in scale," he said, "with a lot of different components," including housing units, retail spaces and a hotel on a 26-acre site. Forest City is now considering building on six acres.
Hyden said he was disappointed in the developer's recent plans but voted for the extension, adding he would "certainly not want to pursue any further extensions."
Councilman Louis Trangucci, R-District 1, said he no longer thought Forest City should be the developer for the project.
"We should go out for a new RFP (request for proposal)," he said. "I vote no." Councilman Albert Tarantino, R-District 2, was the only other dissenting vote.
Part of the discussion about the Echo Bay development is the disposition of the municipal Department of Public Works yard now located on East Main Street. The city is considering moving it to city-owned property on Beechwood Avenue.