Westchester County’s Centers of Economic Development: New Rochelle
New Rochelle offers a large and educated workforce, and excellent public system, and yearlong festivities to coincide with the town’s 325th anniversary.
Nestled along a 9.3-mile stretch of Long Island Sound, New Rochelle offers a vivacious downtown business district, as well as beautiful shoreline views. With a bustling population of approximately 70,000, the city boasts a large and educated workforce, while the National Blue Ribbon award-winning public school system promises a bright future in a city long known as one of the best places in the nation to raise children.
In 2013, New Rochelle is celebrating its 325th anniversary, and the year-long festivities happen to coincide with two major projects:
• The Echo Bay Waterfront Redevelopment is making a one-mile stretch of shoreline habitable again, giving residents access to the Long Island Sound. Once completed, the development will offer more than 600 luxury apartments, 100 town homes and condominiums, and two 150-room hotels, as well as a 20,000-square-foot community center and 150,000 square feet of retail property.
• Heritage Homes, formerly known as Hartley House, which functioned as public housing for New Rochelle, began remodeling in 2011 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2018. The effort is doing away with the five six-story towers and replacing them with more “neighborhood”-style living arrangements. The project will create 228 living units, including three-story town homes, a four-story apartment building and 15 two-family homes.
The business community of New Rochelle, supported for more than nine decades by an active Chamber of Commerce, has benefited in recent years from the efforts of the nonprofit Downtown Business Improvement District (BID), which is made up of about 800 businesses and property owners. BID’s mission is to promote economic development and new business while maintaining a clean and safe downtown environment. Since its founding in 2000, the group has provided a Wi-Fi network which spans more than 20 blocks, and has initiated such events as outdoor summer movies, family fun nights and cultural events to stimulate New Rochelle’s economy.
The city also lays claim to one of the largest retail centers in the country. New Roc City spans 1.2 million square feet and offers everything from a glow-in-the-dark bowling alley to an IMAX movie theater. The complex also houses extensive shopping and dining options, as well as a hotel and apartment-style living.
New Rochelle was recognized in 2009 as a BusinessWeek “Best Place to Live” and in 2010 as one of Money magazine’s “100 Best Cities.” Both the crime and unemployment rates are below the national average. The median household income is $71,688 and the median house value is $612,500.
The city contains a major medical center, three universities and two public libraries, as well as plentiful parks. www.newrochelleny.com
• New Rochelle High School, a two-time Blue Ribbon School with a student population exceeding 3,000, is known as one of the most diverse high schools in America, with a student body said to represent 60 countries.
• The City of New Rochelle was founded in 1688 by Huguenots (members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France) seeking religious freedom.