New Rochelle Proposed Development Moves to Environment Study Phase

Forest City Residential will create a draft environmental impact statement on the Echo Bay development.

The New Rochelle City Council OK'd an outline of issues that must be studied before the proposed Echo Bay development can be built.

At its meeting Tuesday, the council unanimously approved a resolution that adopted an amended scoping document that provides a list of potentially adverse impacts the proposed development would have. It also requires Forest City Residential, the developer the city has agreed to work with, to create a draft environmental impact statement.

Mayor Noam Bramson said, of all the decisions the council will have to make concerning Echo Bay, this was a minor one.

"The scope really just defines the parameters for the analysis that will be undertaken for the environment review," he said.

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"The environmental review itself will be of great importance and something we are going to want to review very carefully prior to taking any action on it," Bramson said.

The developer proposes to build 200-300 residential units at what is now City Yard on East Main Street. The retail space at ground level in mixed-used buildings will be up to 50,000 square feet. There will be approximately 540 parking spaces, 440 of which will be covered parking within the mixed-use building. The remaining 100 will be surface spaces.

Each impact issue in the scope will be addressed in the draft environmental study and will include a discussion of existing conditions, impacts the proposed development will have and ways to mitigate or minimize the impacts.

Forest City now has six months to come up with a draft environmental impact statement, and then two months after that to enter into an agreement with the city to purchase the affected parcels.

The environmental study will be paid for by Forest City. The developer was also required to set up an escrow account initially at $75,000 to cover any of the city's third-party costs.

Development Commissioner Michael Freimuth said requests for proposals for adaptive reuse of the Armory went out two week ago. Interested parties have until mid-July to submit their proposals.

Freimuth said once the winner is chosen, the plans will be sent to Forest City for inclusion in the draft environmental study.

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Katherine Zito May 31, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Billy May 31, 2012 at 02:00 PM
I love it when they have the developers write up their own reports. Does anyone really think it'll be critical or impartial of any aspect of the project? I'm willing to bet the report will say only good things and perhaps talk of the blight (to get the ball rolling on eminent domain takings for the rest of the project) surrounding the area. If the bonding payments don't break the city, the tax abatements surely will and who's going to foot the bill? Homeowners like you & me. Why doesn't New Rochelle try to develop its commercial base instead? We don't need more residents who are going to want services that they aren't paying for because the area they live in is tax abated. How's that fair & equitable?


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