RXR Partnership Proposes $120M Tower in New Rochelle
John Jordan | March 2016
NEW ROCHELLE—As hinted previously by New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, RXR Realty is set to propose in coming weeks a 28-story residential tower on Main Street here as part of the downtown district’s revitalization initiative.
The project at 587 Main St. will also serve as the litmus test for the city’s recently enacted zoning changes and hoped for expedited approval process for properties to be redeveloped in the city’s downtown.
Seth Pinsky, executive vice president with RXR Realty, said exclusively to Real Estate In-Depth that the project will include about 280 units of rental housing and approximately 20,000 square feet of retail and cultural space on the first and potentially second levels. There will also be a number of parking levels. At this point, the project is still in the design phase so it has not been determined if the parking would be above or below grade, he said. Pinsky estimated the project would cost approximately $120 million to build.
RXR Realty is part of RDRXR, the designated developer for the downtown revitalization hired by the City of New Rochelle, which consists of RXR Realty and Renaissance Downtowns.
The project site at 587 Main St. is currently a former Loew’s Theater. The theater closed in the 1970s and later operated as a nightclub. Pinsky said the property is mostly vacant.
“We are looking to start the site plan approval process in the coming weeks,” Pinsky said. The 587 Main St. project, if approved, would be co-developed by a joint venture of RXR Realty and property owners ABS Partners Real Estate LLC of New York City and Brause Realty of New York City.
Pinsky said that RXR Realty is a co-developer at this time but will be contributing “substantial equity” to take an ownership position in the joint venture in the future.
“Our hope is that we will have all approvals in place by the end of this year and be in a position where we will be ready to start construction,” he said.
Based on the zone changes enacted by the New Rochelle City Council last year, the city and the developers of 587 Main St. are hopeful that “as promised this would be a relatively predictable and expedited process,” Pinsky said.
Noting that the 587 Main St. project will be the first under the new zoning and regulatory framework passed by the city, Pinsky said he is hopeful the project can secure all approvals by the end of this year noting that “so far dealing with the city has been a very positive experience.”
Since the zone changes were enacted, the property’s proposed use now conforms with city zoning and therefore does not require what usually is a lengthy zone change approval process. In addition, “The SEQRA process was largely completed as part of the (city zone change) approval. There is some site specific SEQRA work that we will have to do, which we will, but that work was largely completed as part of the rezoning,” Pinsky related.
Speaking as a partner in RDRXR, the designated developer for the downtown revitalization initiative, Pinsky related, “The whole rezoning process has created a significant amount of interest in the market in New Rochelle and both with respect to the master development sites and third party sites, we have observed a lot of big players circling New Rochelle, which we think is great and is exactly what the goal of this master development was.”
New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson in his State of the City address on March 7th unveiled the 587 Main St. project and had Council members and attendees review renderings of the proposal that will “include a new public space that brings life and energy to a whole block of Main Street, while preserving the historic façade of the old Loew’s theater,” the mayor said.
The mayor in his speech related that there are more projects in the pipeline due to the zoning changes and other reforms enacted by the city, noting that “interest in our city is growing by leaps and bounds.”
“At this very moment, within our new downtown development zone, two other projects are already under construction, two more have been approved by the Planning Board, and multiple major projects—transformative projects— are under active discussion with our staff—ranging from hotels and conference centers, to condos and rentals, to restaurants and retailers,” Mayor Bramson said. “Not all will make it to the finish line, but then others will be coming on to the track. And if even a few get done, the positive change will be dramatic.”
New Rochelle Skyline from City of New Rochelle website
A rendering of the proposed 28-story mixed-use tower on Main Street in New Rochelle.