Forest City Offers Artistic Renderings of Echo Bay Park

Written By: Robert Cox


All I can say is “Oh, brother!”

Artistic renderings of a proposed park along Echo Bay have been circulated by Forest City. The images are far-fetched to say the least: in two of them the POV is of a person standing with their back or left-shoulder facing a 10-story sewage treatment plant, the third is conveniently cropped to remove the sewage treatment plant from the right frame of the image.

Mayor Noam Bramson had this to say:

Creating a beautiful public space has always been New Rochelle’s chief planning goal for the Echo Bay shoreline. These renderings, which were produced by the highly regarded park design group Starr Whitehouse, give a great sense of how a site that is presently contaminated and inaccessible can be transformed into an environmental and recreational asset for our community.

Under the terms of the City’s development agreement with Forest City Residential, it will be the developer’s obligation to create this park.

The Echo Bay project is nearing its final approval stage. In the months ahead, the City Council will consider Echo Bay’s Final Environmental Impact Statement and will conclude the terms of a Land Disposition Agreement.

Those documents are lengthy and complex and will require very careful scrutiny. But when it comes to illustrating the City’s goals, the old saying applies: a picture is worth a thousand words.

Forest City Vice President Abe Naperstak had this to say:

The project is beneficial for the city because it will bring in new tax revenue and stimulate economic activity and it’s beneficial for the residents of New Rochelle because it will create a new public 5-acre park on Long Island Sound.

Not mentioned is that while there will be some tax revenue, it is dwarfed by the direct and indirect costs that will be incurred by the City of New Rochelle and the New Rochelle Board of Education. Nor is it mentioned that there is already a far larger park nearby that is not on a mudflat adjioning a sewage treatment plant.

Five Islands Park is a lightly used 15-acres park with a large grassy area, sunbather’s beach, picnic areas, pavilion, large children’s play area with equipment, outdoor amphitheater, also ideal for nature walks. A pedestrian bridge links Big and Little Harrison Island to the main Oakwood Island. This beautiful park has barbeque pits, picnic tables, benches and open air pavilions for rent and a dock for fishing.

If Noam believes it is important to have an area to launch kayaks, canoes or sunfish, why not offer that now at Five Island Park?

Ned Rauch wrote about the renderings and spoke with Jim Maisano and Len Paduano for the article.

Rauch noted the change in the Forest City Plan under which the New Rochelle Board of Education will be more fairly compensated for the cost of educating students living in the proposed development.

The change came about primarily through the efforts of Anthony Galletta and myself documenting the many problems with past developments, especially Avalon, and the burden those developments have placed on local public school. Galletta and Cox did a great deal of research and wrote articles for Talk of the Sound; Cox addressed the school board on the topic on numerous occasions to explain the issue and encourage board members and parents to get involved in demanding a better deal for the school district.

North End residents, including many Bramson supporters, came together to form Citizens for a Better New Rochelle. Their web site has an actual image of the area depicted in the artistic renderings. Readers can judge for themselves whether the the renderings resemble the reality.


Mayor Bramson has been a strong advocate for Forest City.

Bramson has received tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions from individuals with direct and indirect connections to Forest City. Forest City projects in New York City and Yonkers have been the subject of criminal prosecutions related to political corruption.



2 thoughts on “Forest City Offers Artistic Renderings of Echo Bay Park”

  1. Noam has NOTHING
    We have listened to our city officials grumble about how NR Parks are underutilized and the parks commissioner gripe that he is understaffed to maintain the parks. Now the Boy Blunder wants to add another 5 acres of parkland to a toxic Echo Bay. Has the DEC declared the Con Ed site “clean”? If not the entire Echo Bay development will be toxic. Does Forest City’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) add any parks employees to maintain the 5-acre park? Are there any additional police, fire or sanitation workers to deal with the added traffic collisions, medical calls for service and added public refuse collection with recyclables? Probably not as every previous environmental study from Avalon to New Roc merely changed a traffic light by 3 seconds to adjust traffic patterns and flow, and the commissioners of fire, police & sanitation all “signed off” that no new employees are required with a job saving cringe.

    Noam has NOTHING to call his own when it comes to development. Everything was initiated under Idoni with Noam in Idoni’s shadow. Noam will once again ram this through council with the aid of fellow democrats Fertel and Rice. Oh wait, that’s only three votes; never fear as it is my understanding that Ms. Rackman attended a private north-end meeting where Noam credited her with getting Forest City to agree to pay for school children from the Echo Bay development and she fell for it hook, line & sinker! First of all, new IDA regulations require greedy developers to negotiate with school districts to pay for new students. Furthermore, long before Ms. Rackman ever considered a run for council, multiple TOTS contributors have denounced IDA tax abatements that will burden taxpayers until 2035. Ms. Rackman is the fourth and deciding vote that will either save taxpayers from a new 20-year tax abatement or further burden NR taxpayers adding insult to the injuries caused by Avalon and the other failed, tax-abated projects. We will see if Noam’s setup meeting has Ms. Rackman hoodwinked!

    Retail has never materialized from any of the previous projects so why would anyone believe the projections from Echo Bay? Besides, even if the projections are met, it is a pittance in comparison to the 20-year tax abatement, sales tax on building material abatement, mortgage recording tax abatement and the repayment of $30 million in bonding to relocate the city yard.

    As previously stated, Ms. Rackman is the swing vote at tomorrow’s council meeting and if Echo Bay is approved, Councilman Hyden will become the swing vote in a super majority requirement to bond for relocation of the city yard. Every councilmember has stated these are two separate matters but voting to move forward on the Echo Bay project before approval of $30 million in bonding is putting the cart before the horse. Noam will use approval of the Echo Bay project to strong-arm Hyden to support bonding. NR is facing a $29 million deficit as acknowledged by Bramson and the Citizens Budget Panel. Why would any community facing such a shortfall consider $30 million in bonding? Moodys would surely downgrade NR’s credit rating adding to the cost of bonding and taxpayer repayment through increased taxes.

    Noam is so desperate that he will ram through a diminutive 6-acre Echo Bay project that is clearly his edifice even though he is selling NR residents out by refusing to develop the entire 26-acres with a central theme and future planning. This is the result of Noam Bramson’s political ambitions; his only worry is about attaining the next political level and winning the next election as opposed to having a sound plan for NR’s future. Bramson has abandoned his bi-weekly radio show and missed normally attended public events in furtherance of his newest dream of becoming county executive.

  2. Ned Rauch might as well be working for Noam Bramson
    He is a shill for the local democrats and rarely reports in a manner that is News Worthy.
    Rauch should write his story based upon Bramson’s previous success which there are none and also write about Sandy Annabi and the crooked past of Forest City Ratner. Instead he cleanses the article with Forest City Residential as if they are a non related entity.
    The project produces nothing for New Rochelle.
    The Tax payer is picking up the bill for most of this so that our Boy Wonder Mayor Noam can try and find something positive for his last 16 years of desecration in New Rochelle.
    Forest City has been funding Bramson it borders on unethical.

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