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New Rochelle Grants 60-day Extension for Echo Bay Study

Forest City Residential is studying development of six acres of Echo Bay waterfront.

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.

Billy L January 18, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Glad to see the democrats in power are still trying to use the West End as their dumping ground for the city yard. What the elitist liberals see as an eyesore (The West End) I see as a beautiful neighborhood rich in culture now and of the past and still my home to this day. They are plenty of other places to put this yard than Beechwood Ave.
Billy January 18, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Why does the mayor think a residential development between a cement plant and a sewage plant can be successful? And don't we have enough vacant luxury apartments in the Trump & Avalon buildings as is?
inman January 18, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Hey Billy..You think you can run for Nita Lowey's congressional seat without some feathers in your cap? You've got to have a resume, son.
Brian Sussman January 18, 2012 at 07:46 PM
City Yard is best off left off where it is. But if North End Councilpersons want to move City Yard, they should advocate moving it to the North End, and pay for the unnecessary move out of their own pockets. The Echo Bay Project always was a bad idea. There is no problem with extending the consideration of the project for two more months. But after those two months, the City Council should bow to reality and to decency, and should drop the Forest City/Echo Bay Plan, and our government should cease to be a shill for the construction and real estate industries.
napier January 22, 2012 at 02:40 PM
I'm with Brian on the move to the North End. Can the EB area be made into a bigger park area like Harbor Island w/o moving the yard? The existing park is way too small...

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