NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Twining Properties has unveiled plans for the New Rochelle Naval Armory with photos and artist renderings. The slide presentation was presented to the New Rochelle City Council and local veterans groups.
Twining Properties is planning to develop the Armory site as part of its Pratt Landing development project on Echo Bay, which includes shops, apartments, restaurants and parks.
Twinings put up a minimum of $1 million for the rehabilitation. The city covered another $1 million, through a Restore NY Initiative grant.
In 1997, the City of New Rochelle bought the New Rochelle Armory from New York State for $1 with the provision that the property would be maintained as a public recreation and municipal space. Veterans groups have vigorously opposed any development plans that include tearing down the building.
The Twinings plan states the developer would preserve the building and include public recreation space.
The plan is vigorously opposed by Westchester County Veterans Service Agency Director Ron Tocci who has orchestrated a lawsuit against the City of New Rochelle claiming the City has failed to maintain the Armory building. Tocci also serves as a member of the New Rochelle Veterans Advisory Committee.
The legal maneuverings are a bit incestuous with the Latimer administration, which runs Westchester County, led by Tocci, using County resources to move forward with a dubious, obstructionist lawsuit against the City of New Rochelle with Tocci in effect suing the New Rochelle City Council which appointed him to advise them on New Rochelle Veterans issues over a property Tocci arranged to be transferred to City control more than two decades ago when Tocci was representing New Rochelle in the New York State Assembly.
Meanwhile, veterans groups in New Rochelle such as American Legion Post 8 and the New Rochelle Veterans Advisory Committee do not support Tocci’s lawsuit which was initially brought by veterans groups in White Plains but has since been changed so the named plaintiff is now Dennis Starr, a veteran from New Rochelle, who replaced Peter Parente on the New Rochelle Veterans Advisory Committee in 2019 after former Council Member Lou Trangucci, Parente’s brother-in-law, denounced Parente’s remarks — and asked that Parente be removed from the New Rochelle Veterans Advisory Committee — after Parente posted a series of vile derogatory statements about immigrants and Muslims (since deleted) on Facebook.
Parente, who has a criminal record that goes back decades to go with a history of illegal drug use and violence is currently facing criminal weapons charges after police found an unregistered, illegally modified weapon in his home. Over the last two years, Parente, has pled guilty to multiple counts of contempt for violating a court order in a related case.
While serving in the U.S. Marines Reserves, Parente was demoted and received a reduction in pay in 1990 after testing positive for cocaine and THC (marijuana). He received a “Company NJP” for Article 92 (Failure to Obey an Order or Regulation) and Article 112 (Wrongful Use, Possession of Controlled Substances).
Trangucci was soundly defeated last November by Martha Lopez in no small part due to his association with Peter Parente; Lopez removed Starr from the New Rochelle Veterans Advisory Committee. Tocci, appointed by Council Member Al Tarantino who was re-elected last fall, remains on the New Rochelle Veterans Advisory Committee.
Twinings Slideshow: Twining Plans for New Rochelle Armory at Pratt’s Landing