As part of the most ambitious downtown development plan in the history of the Hudson Valley, the City is creating a downtown arts & cultural district, designed to be a regional mecca for artists and innovators in line with the City’s vision to become the ideal setting to live, work and grow.
The creative district will build on New Rochelle’s energetic arts scene by promoting a stable supply of performance space and affordable artist work and live spaces in combination with activities and events to draw in new audiences.
Specifically, outlined strategies for the proposed creative district include:
· encouraging the reuse of upper floor spaces for arts and cultural organizations and artist/creative studios;
· treating the entire ground floor of the district as an art gallery;
· promoting the creation of innovative maker space and multi-use black box performance spaces;
· creating an arts district overlay zone in the light industrial area to protect artist affordability; and
· activating the district with events, activities and public art to draw a diverse audience.
“The arts and cultural district promises to stimulate economic activity and attract new businesses and visitors to the City of New Rochelle,” said Luiz Aragon, New Rochelle’s Commissioner of Development. “As a key component of our downtown redevelopment plans, it will support the growing artistic population in New Rochelle by providing potential spaces and funding, and will give a face to the creative community of art, music, and dance.”
The proposed arts & cultural district is part of New Rochelle’s multi-faceted downtown development initiative – the largest program of its kind in the history of Hudson Valley – that will turn New Rochelle into one of the highest caliber “live, work and grow” communities in the region and state. The program’s total 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. New Rochelle's procedural framework for economic development is unprecedented in the Hudson Valley Region and has the capacity to attract both public and private capital on a huge scale and within this economic cycle.
Boston-based urban planning firm CivicMoxie, LLC assisted in developing the plan for the new district. With extensive experience working on arts district plans and with arts organizations and artists, the firm has been involved with urban design, economic development, and other city planning projects.