Diane Marszalek has a sobering account in The New York Times of how the credit crunch has impacted big name developers in our area with a particular focus on New Rochelle.
Less than a year ago, New Rochelle leaders were banking their city’s future on a new wave of development, a multitude of projects designed to restore vibrancy to downtown. The plans included apartment towers with brand names like Trump and a Long Island Sound shoreline with high-end housing and canals for small boats…Today, however, such visions of Westchester’s future do not look as rosy, primarily because of the financial meltdown that, in some cases, has brought the business of construction to a halt, developers and local leaders said.
The spokesman for Capelli calls the situation a “mess” as developers “delay timetables” and “hunker down”. Hardest hit are projects like converting New Roc City into a retail center with Kohl’s and Target as anchor tenets, the LeCount Square project and the Echo Bay Development project. Developers are formally requesting extensions. Kohl’s and Target are nowhere in sight of New Rochelle and Echo Bay Development will not break ground for at least two more years.
Mayor Bramson is quoted in the piece as well:
…in New Rochelle, plans to build a condominium tower on the site of a downtown parking garage were scrapped when the housing market crashed, Mayor Noam Bramson said.
“We are in the midst of a generational effort to revitalize our economy and have made great progress in the last decade,” he said. “We always understand, though, that the pace of progress can quicken or slow based on the overall economic environment, and it is reasonable to expect that the current down cycle will impact us to some degree.”
The article is sure to raise questions at the next City Council meeting both from proponents of New Rochelle Hockey and the Save Our Armory group both of which resisted plans supported by Mayor Bramson:
- If New Roc development is being pushed back until 2011, why was the hockey rink shut down in 2008?
- If there is a possibility that Forest City Ratner may not proceed with Echo Bay Development then why not put some sort of plastic sheeting on the roof of the Armory to protect the structure?
What do you think?