Before heading to tomorrow’s IDA Public Hearing read this

Written By: Anthony Galletta

Avalon 5-Year Impact  


Year                           Students                    Cost to taxpayer


2012-2013                115 students             $2,415,000

2013-2014                115 students             $2,415,000

2014-2015                102 students             $2,142,000

2015-2016                109 students             $2,289,000

2016-2017                115 students             $2,415,000


5-Year total              556 students           $11,676,000

5-Year Average      111 students           $  2,335,200 per year


These are the hard costs for educating students from the Avalon project. This adds insult to injury as the Avalon’s, now La Rochelle owned by the DSF Group, pays ZERO/$0 in school taxes. The school tax bill for 255 Huguenot St. (Avalon 1) & 40 Memorial Highway (Avalon 2) would have been approximately $8 million in 2014 if not for the 30-year school tax-abatement. It should be noted that the assessed value for 40 Memorial Highway (Avalon 2) was reduced from $8,040,200 to its current assessed value of $5,558,300 a 31% REDUCTION in ASSESSED VALUE. The 31% reduction was a result of a reduced assessment at time of sale, as granted by the New Rochelle tax assessor in 2013, a second assessment reduction from the Board of assessment review in 2014, followed by another assessor approved reduction in 2015.

 The five-year average equates to 111 students per year. This would be similar to a five-year lookback as proposed in the defunct Echo Bay project. The average 111 students represent a 91% increase over the Avalon FEIS projection of 58 students. New Rochelle must learn from its mistakes. Any future development that receives tax abatements or PILOT’s (Payments In Lieu Of Taxes) MUST at the very least pay for the actual number of students introduced each year.

 DSF is currently requesting a “to be determined” extension of their existing 30-year tax-abatement in consideration for the creation of a “Downtown Gateway” (in reality a tunnel). This tunnel/roadway would connect the rear entrance/exit from the train station to Library Green. A future, new skyscraper is contemplated by DSF on the existing tax-abated property at which time a new, separate tax inducement (ABATEMENT) will be considered.

 To put it in layman’s terms; DSF is willing to give the City of New Rochelle a new tunnel for an undetermined extension of their existing 30-year tax-abatement. It could be 10, 20 or possibly another 30-year tax-abatement extension, no one knows. Should this inducement (ABATEMENT) be granted tomorrow night at the IDA public hearing, the taxpayers of New Rochelle will have to endure the cost of educating La Rochelle students for an undetermined period. If a new DSF/La Rochelle skyscraper is built on tax-abated land will the new skyscraper also pay $0 in school taxes?

 La Rochelle is a luxury rental complex that charges $2,300-$2,500 per month for a 755-sq. ft., one-bedroom apartment. Should you require a parking space, it would cost an additional $92.12 per- month for a non-covered parking space or $135.47 per-month for a covered parking space. If by chance you have a pet cat, you would have to shell out an additional, non-refundable $300 pet fee PLUS $35 per-month pet rental cost; two cat limit.

 All this and DSF is looking to extend their 30-year tax-abatement and future consideration for more tax-abatements on a new skyscraper. Sounds like a typical New Rochelle development deal to me!