New Rochelle’s Underutilized Spaces

Written By: Talk of the Sound News

BetavilleI think a lot about underutilized space in New Rochelle. There is an extraordinary amount of it. My thoughts on this topic were re-ignited by Betaville, created by NYU-Poly, which is an “open-source multiplayer environment for real cities, in which ideas for new works of public art, architecture, urban design, and development can be shared, discussed, tweaked, and brought to maturity in context, and with the kind of broad participation people take for granted in open source software development.”

How cool! Right now, limited environments are available. Obviously, New Rochelle is not one of them.

Absent a malleable real-time virtual world to share, discuss, tweak ideas about New Rochelle, I think we should generate two lists: one, underutilized and distinctive spaces in New Rochelle; two, a list of unfulfilled community needs. The goal would then be to match spaces to needs.

This is increasingly important as the city moves ahead (or doesn’t) with certain development projects. Wouldn’t it be great to have a unified development vision?

I’ll kick off the list, but please comment and add additional spaces and needs, and I’ll update.

Underutilized Spaces:
The Armory
Davids Island
Loews Theatre
The Standard Star Building
The former Masonic Lodge

Unfulfilled Needs:

7 thoughts on “New Rochelle’s Underutilized Spaces”

  1. S glad to see that you’ve
    S glad to see that you’ve taken an interest in the project! My name is Skye, I’m the lead developer for Betaville. While New Rochelle is not in there at this point, we’re currently beta testing functionality that allows for other cities to be created by users (this is a core functionality of the application as specified).

    I would invite you to get in touch ( at if you’re interested in being a part of this, as it sounds like there is active conversation about certain spaces.. It also doesn’t hurt that you’re just a short hop from Brooklyn 😉

  2. New Rochelle’s Underutilized Spaces in Wykagyl
    Among the most Underutilized New Rochelle, and under-taxed spaces is the Wykagyl Country Club.

    It is hardly used by the people of New Rochelle, is privately owned, and although on some of New Rochelle’s most expensive, desirable property, is amazingly under-taxed.

    New Rochelle should take over Wykagyl Country Club using eminent domain. Its property should be converted to expensive residential and commercial usage, all of which would contribute vast amounts of property tax. Commercial property would also provide sales tax, and be convenient to New Rochelle’s North End residents, most of whom never travel to downtown New Rochelle.

    Also, both Beth-El synagogue and Ursuline School should sell or convert that part of their properties abutting North Ave, to commercial usage.

  3. Jim Killorin is in Haiti but…
    I am sure he could add to this list when he gets back.

    One of my favorite buildings is the Standard-Star Building.

    It is not underutilized but there has got to be a better way to define the space inside the New Rochelle train station.

    1. List
      Jim is in some ways the inspiration for my post because he has so many ideas about community needs. The next step is to divvy those needs up per spaces.

      And when I say, “needs” I don’t only mean pressing community needs, but also future concepts or plans that would enrich New Rochelle generally. One commenter a few months ago mentioned how the Terrytoons legacy is often underplayed (which I generally agree with). I know Jim is very interested in the Norman Rockwell legacy. So under needs, preliminarily enter:

      Space devoted to NR film legacy (silent and/or cartoon)
      Norman Rockwell
      Multi- or single-purpose performing arts space

      I’m looking into trying to set up an interactive map using Google Maps (or some other mapping program) to allow the community to identify underutilized areas and to suggest ideas.

      On the train station, I entirely agree with you. In fact, I was thinking about that a week or two ago. Let’s call that “inefficient use of space.”

    2. The most underutilized space
      The most underutilized space in New Rochelle is between your ears Mr Cox!!! Lmao

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