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The New York State Department of State today announced the New Rochelle Downtown Revitalization Initiative recently received the Meritorious Achievement Award from the American Planning Association New York Metro (APA-NYM). New York State Secretary of State Rossana Rosado accepted the award, along with New Rochelle Mayor Noah Bramson and the consultant VHB Senior Planner Jill Gallant, during the APA-NYM Chapter Annual Conference on Friday, October 16.
Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, "New Rochelle's Downtown Revitalization Initiative is breathing new life into the city with the development of innovative projects as part of its Strategic Implementation Plan. This award is a testament to the vision and hard work of the entire New Rochelle community, and I commend all who have worked hard to achieve this milestone. Governor Cuomo's Downtown Revitalization Initiative is a proven success and we're very proud of our work in partnership with New Rochelle to ensure they are achieving their transformative goals. Thank you to the American Planning Association New York Metro Chapter for recognizing this outstanding work."
The APA-NYM annual Chapter Awards bestows recognition on individuals, organizations, and projects that exemplify the best of the metropolitan region's planning work. The Meritorious Achievement Award recognized the New Rochelle DRI for its Strategic Investment Plan.
New Rochelle's Strategic Investment Plan, which is a culmination of an intensive local planning process, is an exemplary model of a planning process that draws on long-standing community priorities and input from dedicated stakeholders to identify a vision and slate of implementable projects. The City's DRI application was crafted around the understanding that as the downtown has blossomed in recent years, the need to reconnect the downtown to the Lincoln Avenue Corridor and neighborhoods to the north has become stronger than ever.
As the City and the Local Planning Committee refined the list of projects proposed for DRI funding, they focused on projects that address connectivity, promote safe streets and transportation, establish new public space and catalyze business growth. The most prominent of these projects, the Linc, is an innovative placemaking effort that replaces a divisive roadway with connected open spaces, multi-model transportation opportunities, and opens up new opportunities for investment in the Lincoln Avenue Corridor.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, "New York State is dedicated to building back better. With the State's investment, New Rochelle has been able to move forward with a plan to transform their downtown and enhance the quality of life for residents. Linking the downtown with the Lincoln Avenue Corridor, improving community spaces and creating new workforce opportunities will benefit New Rochelle and the entire Mid-Hudson region. The Meritorious Achievement Award is well deserved, and we look forward to the economic development ahead."
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Senator Shelley B. Mayer said, "Congratulations to Mayor Noam Bramson, the City of New Rochelle, and all who assisted in the strategic planning of the New Rochelle Downtown Revitalization Initiative. The City of New Rochelle is a dynamic, diverse, and vibrant community. Receiving the Meritorious Achievement Award is a testament to the city's smart, strategic, and innovative investments to address community needs. I look forward to continuing to work with the City of New Rochelle to support its infrastructure goals."
Assemblywoman Amy Paulin said, "Congratulations to the New Rochelle Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) for winning the Meritorious Achievement Award for its Strategic Investment Plan. The City of New Rochelle, the Local Planning Committee, and the public collaborated to reimagine the city's landscape. The proposals for the city's downtown will improve infrastructure, enhance accessibility for New Rochelle visitors and residents, and generate new jobs that will improve quality of life for all residents. We are all excited to see the full realization of the vision of the DRI's Strategic Investment Plan."
Assembly Member Steven Otis said, "This planning award recognizes the community participation that has taken place in developing the Lincoln Avenue Corridor Plan. Congratulations go to the City of New Rochelle, Mayor Bramson, the community members that contributed to the plan and the planning team in being singled out for this award. Governor Cuomo's support with the DRI grant and other state support for New Rochelle's many projects that are underway are helping transform our city."
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, "I want to congratulate our friends in New Rochelle on the Meritorious Achievement Award from the American Planning Association New York Metro," said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. "Vibrant, attractive downtowns are essential to our economic growth in Westchester County, and New Rochelle's Downtown Revitalization Initiative, which focuses on new development, improved infrastructure and greater opportunities, will bring great benefits not only to the City but to its residents and the local economy."
New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson said, "This prestigious award was made possible through a collaborative partnership among City and State officials, planning experts, community leaders, and residents. I look forward to implementing the visionary projects conceived through the DRI process."
VHB Project Manager and Northeast Regional Real Estate Market Leader David Quart said, "Being part of the team that is helping shape the future of New Rochelle has been a truly inspiring experience, and we thank APA for this recognition. The New Rochelle Downtown Revitalization Initiative has set the stage for the City's future growth and expansion, creating opportunities for a more connected community. VHB and our teaming partners were incredibly proud to work in collaboration with the State, City of New Rochelle and local stakeholders on this transformational project."
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New Rochelle was named a DRI Round 3 winner. New Rochelle will connect its evolving and prosperous city center with the mile-long Lincoln Avenue Corridor that contains mixed-income residential housing, a newly renovated hospital, green space, a Metro North Train Station and part of the city's Arts and Cultural District. The Strategic Investment Plan will build upon significant public-private investment over the past few years to spur commercial, residential, and mixed-use development in the city. DRI investments will leverage city resources and private investments to forge connections between residential neighborhoods in the northern portion of the corridor with commercial, institutional, and cultural resources to the south. The city envisions infrastructure improvements that will improve pedestrian and traffic circulation and extend the downtown's walkable, sustainable, transit-oriented design into this corridor to create a bustling environment in which to live and work.
New Rochelle developed a Strategic Investment Plan to revitalize its downtown with $300,000 in planning funds from the $10 million DRI grant. A Local Planning Committee made up of municipal representatives, community leaders, and other stakeholders led the effort, supported by a team of private sector experts and state planners. The Strategic Investment Plan for downtown New Rochelle examined local assets and opportunities and identified economic development, transportation, housing, and community projects that align with the community's vision for downtown revitalization and that are poised for implementation.
About the Downtown Revitalization Initiative
In 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo launched a major new initiative—the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). Through the DRI, the Governor moved to aggressively accelerate and expand the revitalization of downtowns and neighborhood to serve as centers of activity and catalysts for investment in all ten regions of the state. The DRI represents an unprecedented and innovative plan-to-act strategy that couples strategic planning with immediate implementation.
In the first four years of the DRI, the State has committed $400 million to invest in downtowns that are ripe for revitalization and have the potential to become magnets for redevelopment, business, job creation, greater economic and housing diversity, and opportunity. Participating communities are nominated by the state's ten Regional Economic Development Councils based on the downtown's potential for transformation, and each community is awarded $10 million to develop a downtown strategic investment plan and implement key catalytic projects that advance the community's vision for revitalization. The DRI is chaired by New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. Communities receive support from private sector experts and a team of state agency staff led by the Department of State in close partnership with Empire State Development, and NYS Homes and Community Renewal. Other agencies are also involved in reviewing and implementing projects.
New Rochelle DRI website
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