New Rochelle Issues RFP to Redevelop Harrison Street Fire Station #1 Property

John Jordan | January 2017

A rendering depicting the potential development at the New Rochelle Fire Station #1 property. Source: City of New Rochelle.

NEW ROCHELLE—The City of New Rochelle issued a Request for Proposal for the redevelopment of Fire Station #1 at 45 Harrison St. on Jan. 2.

The city-owned property is not included in the portfolio of properties in the city’s far reaching Master Development Agreement with RDRXR, a partnership of Renaissance Downtowns and RXR Realty, according to New Rochelle Development Commissioner Luiz Aragon.

Proposals for the project are due on Friday, March 10th at 3 p.m. With the maximum height bonuses in places, the property’s zoning could allow for a building up to 28 stories high.

The site consists of approximately 30,492 square feet and is located between Huguenot and Main Streets, just east of the core Downtown area. The winning proposal may include any combination of mixed uses for the property in order to reimagine it to align with the city’s designated Downtown Overlay Zone. The proposal could incorporate the Fire Station operations onsite, or if not would require the development of the Fire Station on another property. One requirement of any interested application is that Fire Station #1 not be closed or have services interrupted during the development project. If Fire Station #1 were to be moved, it would have to be located between North Avenue and Stephenson Boulevard and the New England Thruway (I-95) and Main Street, according to the RFP.

“The project solution must provide for a new, modern fire station on- or off-site. The new station must meet the current and future operational needs of the fire station based on the build out of the Downtown area, state building standards and the technical advancements of apparatus and other emergency response equipment. Additional onsite outdoor training areas and parking are also essential to the operations of the fire station. The NRFD (New Rochelle Fire Department) estimates that approximately 40,000 square feet of indoor space and 20,000 (square feet) of outdoor area will be needed to accommodate the new fire station,” the city noted in the RFP.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to develop a signature property at New Rochelle’s eastern gateway, adjacent to our downtown core,” said Development Commissioner Aragon. “New Rochelle has come together in support of the revitalization of our downtown and this property enhances that vision. We have created the right environment for the ideal live, work and grow landscape and welcome all qualified developers to submit their ideas. Come to New Rochelle, we’re open for business.”

Built in 1966, Fire Station #1 is the largest fire station in New Rochelle and consists of a 20,000-square-foot, two-story facility that includes: an 8,000-square-foot ground floor; a 6,200-square-foot second level that currently provides spaces for administrative offices, kitchen facilities, sleeping areas and a large living space; and a 6,200-square-foot basement. The redesign of the 45 Harrison St. property is intended to retain and improve the function of Fire Station #1, either on or off site, city officials stated.

The property is part of the form-based code approved by the city that would allow a host of potential uses, including: light industrial, residential, commercial office, retail, restaurants, medical, hotels, student housing, senior housing, independent living, etc.

There are a host of major developments in the pipeline or under construction in the Queen City, including the redevelopment of the former Loew’s Theater on Main Street into a mixed-use development featuring residential, retail and cultural space. RXR Realty broke ground on the $120-million venture on Nov. 30. The development, when completed, will include 280 rental apartment units, 28 of which will be affordable; 10,000 square feet of arts and cultural space; 17,000 square feet of commercial (retail) space; and 234 on-site parking spaces.

Under New Rochelle’s multi-faceted downtown development initiative, total potential build-out will extend to 12 million square feet, including up to 2.4 million square feet of prime office space, one million square feet of retail, 6,370 housing units and 1,200 hotel rooms.

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth