The 60’s hit song “Downtown” – that’s how New Rochelle downtown should be -- a destination! Okay, we don’t need the neon lights but we can have the multi-diverse, multi-level shopping (a balanced mix of low-mid-high range stores), the arts and entertainment, the diverse foods and drinks (tea/craft beers/wine), the offices as workplaces, the movies, the dancing, etc. – all in a one-stop destination. It is a place where you can have breakfast, pick up your groceries, do your basic and your impulse/splurge shopping, have lunch, watch a movie, a show or a performance in a theatre, browse through a bookstore, the flea/artists market, stroll through art galleries, go to the food and artisanal hall, have afternoon tea, great dinner with music and/or dancing, watch children play in the playgrounds or just sit in the public plazas and enjoy nature. BUT all these in a clean, safe, vibrant and inviting atmosphere.
It is an innovative mixed-use destination with retail, food, cultural, historical, office and residential space as well as public plazas and outdoor amenities.
Vibrant and colorful but respectful of the existing historical edifices -- there are wooden structures in downtown that can be made colorful while we preserve the beauty and integrity of the historical buildings. Murals and other artwork can be created on otherwise drab walls of buildings. Most of Westchester is very subdued and we can make New Rochelle stand out with its colorful art, diverse cultures, food, jazz and Latin music. That is what will make us different.
It is important to have a balance between the local businesses and the other types of businesses and activities we would like to develop in New Rochelle. The locally-owned small businesses do not only help preserve the local character of the city but they foster entrepreneurship and keep dollars and jobs within the community. Backed by a supportive and business friendly local government, downtown New Rochelle will be a place to go – indeed a destination!