Who owns the Armory?
The City of New Rochelle, and by extension, the citizens of New Rochelle.
If the city owns it, can’t they do whatever they want with it?
No. In fact, one of the very reasons the State allowed the transfer of the Armory and its property to the City was for “public use”. This is clearly spelled out in the deed, as we’ve seen.
Is the Armory too “far gone” to reuse?
Absolutely not. Engineers have inspected the building and report it to be structurally sound. Virtually all the damage is the result of purposeful neglect through the years by past and current administrations. This is completely at odds with the agreement with the State. As with any old building, it could use upgrades to plumbing, electrical and heating . Many houses in New Rochelle have the same issues. These issues would be addressed in the renovation process.
I heard that the Armory is contaminated with lead paint and asbestos. Doesn’t that make it unsafe?
Strangely enough, the City allowed the Haunted House to use the facility right up until Forest City was announced as the developer. Did the City put 12 to 14 thousand people visiting the Haunted House, per year, at risk by allowing its use? Putting that aside for now, consider this, every house, school, or public building that was painted before 1978 (when lead was banned) has lead paint in it. Unless, of course, all the painted surfaces were stripped of all paint. Many older houses still have asbestos insulation around the heating pipes. Should the City condemn your property too?
I heard new development will open up the view to the water if the Armory is destroyed.
There will be a 5-6 story condominium replacing the Armory. It will have a larger “footprint”. The only people enjoying any view from the Armory area will be those lucky enough to live in the condo’s.
Isn’t the developer offering to build a new “community center” to replace the Armory?
You can’t “replace” an historic building. But yes, there are plans to build a “community center” on the old Con-Ed property. We wondered why there wasn’t any housing being built on this parcel. It would appear the property and its water frontage doesn’t meet contamination standards to allow housing, only parking lots and transient facilities. We are currently researching this danger.
I’m told if I support the Armory, I’m against development and progress. Is that true?
Certainly not! The Armory is just the starting point for a broader view of development for the area. Disagreeing with the Forest City plans should never be interpreted as being against development. In fact, many people have expressed concern about the current plan, its out of scale size, and how it doesn’t relate to the surrounding area as proposed at initial planning meetings held at Five Islands Park. Why not make the Armory the centerpiece of the development? Your opinion is valuable.
How does saving the Armory help New Rochelle?
In addition to providing a regional Veteran’s Service Facility, the large “drill deck” area will be home to venues such as sporting events, art exhibits, performances and many others. Saving the Armory is only the first step towards using the Armory.You can see in the posted stories on this site the amazing potential right here, in our own backyard. These venues will provide revenue to operate the facility, but more importantly, visitors will provide a cash flow to the downtown shops/restaurants and hotels. The burden of providing city services to 3000 more residents, as planned by the developer, are eliminated. The community as a whole is engaged and enriched by the multiple venues. There is no enrichment provided by condominiums.
Doesn’t the proposed development provide tax dollars to the city?
No. The huge tax abatements will eliminate any tax bonus to the city. As we’ve seen with the Avalon, the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) doesn’t even cover the costs incurred by the city for services (Police/ Fire, schools etc). The city will realize a loss between 20 to 40 million in lost taxes. If we’re paying for the development through loss of taxes, why not get what is best for us? Let’s not socialize the risk only to privatize the profits. That’s precisely what we’re doing with the Echo Bay development.
Can one person make a difference?
Absolutely! The Save Our Armory organization is about individuals coming together to preserve something that belongs to all of us. Active participation by individuals like you will result in the success of bringing to life a jewel of a facility that all citizens would be proud of. A place of community gathering that reaches out to enrich everyone through sports and the arts. The possibilities are endless.
How can I help?
Whatever your comfort level, there is a way for you to participate. Contact your elected representatives and tell them you want the Armory to be used. Your Councilperson, the Mayor, County, State and Federal representatives are all listed on our “Contact Your Elected Reps” page on this site.
Talk with your friends and neighbors about the benefits of a restored Armory.
Come to the Save Our Armory meetings and let your voice be heard. Look for the meeting schedule on the New Ro Calendar of the Talk of the Sound website. Meetings are typically the fourth Monday of the month at the American Legion Post 8, 112 North Ave. New Rochelle 10801
Sign our petition and have your opinion counted.
As always, you can contact the Save Our Armory Committee for more information and check our site often for the latest breaking news about the Armory.