Re-bid Echo Bay Development
This petition had 825 supporters
Are you willing to pay $40 million dollars to have a developer build yet more residential housing in New Rochelle?
Are you happy with class sizes growing and schools getting more crowded?
Are you willing to just give away our land so that a developer can make a huge profit?
Are you okay with your property taxes continuing to rise while a for-profit developer gets tax breaks?
Do you support building service-dependent residential properties over job-creating commercial development?
IF YOUR ANSWER TO ANY OF THE QUESTIONS ABOVE IS NO, THEN YOU SHOULD SIGN THIS PETITION!
In 2006, the city put out a request for proposals for developers to bid on “re-imagining the last significant piece of waterfront property in New Rochelle”. The successful bidder was Forest City Ratner. They won mainly based on the size of their project and sight lines to the shore from Main Street.
Since then, the city has been in negotiations with Forest City Ratner (and given them annual extensions for a nominal fee) and here is what has changed:
• 100 Luxury Townhouses/Condos down to none
• 600 Rental Apartments down to 285 Rental Apartments
• 150,000 square feet of retail down to 25,000 square feet
• Two 150 room hotels down to none
Although the project has been significantly reduced (it now mirrors a competing bid which was rejected as being too small), which means the taxes to be paid by the developer have fallen, the cost to New Rochelle taxpayers HAS NOT!
• “Valuable” waterfront land given away for free
• The City will have to borrow $25 million to move the City Yard which is currently on the site
• With proposed tax abatements for 20 years, the City loses $1.4 million per year, $28 million over 20 years.
We ARE supportive of efforts to bring development to our city. However, our valuable waterfront property should not be given away in a sweetheart deal. All new development deals must be done in a fiscally responsible manner and be structured in a way that does not jeopardize or impair our schools or essential city services. While we recognize the need to provide developers with tax incentives, it must be done in a manner that is consistent with our long-term vision to revitalize our downtown, develop new tax revenues and better our community. We agree with The Board of Education, the Fire Department, and the Westchester County Planning Board, who have all spoken out against the current structure of this project.
“Echo Bay Development represents a significant expense to the Public.”
- Westchester County Planning Board
“We urge that the final per-pupil figure be indexed to reflect proportional increases in the actual per-pupil expenditure number, adjusted accordingly over time.”
- New Rochelle Board of Education
“[This] will reduce the availability to respond to existing buildings in the district, which will require surrounding districts to be stripped to cover. We are not against the development, but as new projects are added, the need for services increases. You cannot have it both ways.”
- Byron Grey, New Rochelle Firefighters Union President
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