Six New Rochelle projects selected to share in $10 million in state funding were announced by New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul at the New Rochelle City Hall on July 31.
The city was named a recipient of funding from the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) last September. At that time, Mayor Noam Bramson said the first $300,000 would be spent on creating a strategic investment plan to determine what to do with the rest of the money.
At the time the award was announced, the Business Journal reported that the city’s application for DRI funding had focused on the corridor surrounding Lincoln Avenue, about a half-mile north of Main Street. The city’s application defined the corridor as a mile-long section that includes Montefiore Hospital of New Rochelle, market rate and affordable housing, the Metro-North train station and part of the city’s arts and cultural district.
A committee composed of city representatives, community leaders and others worked with consultants and state planners to review what was happening in the way of economic development, transportation, housing and community projects, and recommended where the money should go.
“Investment in these projects will improve connectivity, linking downtown with the Lincoln Avenue Corridor, provide residents with new recreational opportunities, and enhance quality of life,” Hochul said.
The six projects receiving DRI funding are:
A public restroom to be built adjacent to the Lincoln Park pool house – $227,000;
A playground, basketball court and other amenities to be added to a park serving a new 288-unit affordable housing development at Winthrop Avenue and Brook Street – $343,000;
A black box theater and arts education center to be built on the second floor of the new RXR building on the site of the old Loew’s Theater at 587 Main St. – $830,000;
The transformation of what has been the eastbound portion of Memorial Highway into public recreation space – $6 million;
Planning, studies and outreach to establish a new zoning overlay district to encourage a greater mix of residential and commercial uses and pedestrian-friendly design in the Lincoln Avenue Corridor – $300,000;
Changes, including safety improvements, to the Lincoln Avenue Corridor to make it more pedestrian and bike friendly and ease traffic congestion – $2 million.
Bramson said: “The projects funded by the DRI will forge stronger physical, economic, and social links between our burgeoning downtown and the Lincoln Avenue corridor, provide for a transformative, historic investment in infrastructure, open space, and mobility, improve public safety, and help all people in New Rochelle benefit from inclusive growth and prosperity.”
Although he did not attend the event, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo issued a statement saying, in part, “With the help of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, New Rochelle will achieve greater neighborhood development, improved community spaces, and new opportunities for education and workforce advancement.”
Westchester County Executive George Latimer predicted, “This will lead to further investment in the community and reinvigorate pride in our community.”
Assembly Member Amy Paulin said, “The City of New Rochelle has made a tremendous amount of economic progress to realize its economic potential and is well-positioned to benefit from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative.”