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Mayor Noam Bramson delivered his final State of the City Address on Thursday, March 9 at New Rochelle City Hall. Lauding New Rochelle’s progress on economic, environmental, and social challenges, Bramson said his city was now “the fastest growing in New York, enjoying a wave of investment and confidence unlike anything in a century.”
Focusing first on economic development, Bramson noted that 25 significant downtown projects were either completed or under construction, bringing “life, energy, and buying power.” “As our region and state grapple with an acute housing shortage,” continued Bramson, “New Rochelle is more than doing its part; we are setting the pace.”
Bramson listed other benefits associated with New Rochelle’s transit-oriented development strategy, including thousands of new jobs, hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenue, and all-time high local sales, topping $1.5 billion. “These dollars are reinvested in community needs, from youth programming to park master plans, from flood mitigation to public safety, while moderating the demands placed on our taxpayers,” said Bramson.
As New Rochelle grows, said Bramson, “we’re creating new public spaces where we can gather, celebrate, run and play, or simply enjoy the open water and sky. New plazas at Clinton Park and Anderson Place open to everyone. Pratt Landing bringing public access to the East Main waterfront for the first time in any of our lives. The Linc reshaping half of Memorial Highway into a linear park. A bold transformative vision, and the most ambitious expansion of open space in generations.” Bramson further noted that New Rochelle had secured $22 million in highly-competitive federal and state grants to implement the Linc.
Looking beyond the city center, Bramson celebrated New Rochelle’s commitment to environmental sustainability, including “a comprehensive update of GreeNR, New Rochelle’s award-winning sustainability plan, to guide our environmental actions for another decade,” and “generational investments in infrastructure and long-term assets,” including a city-wide storm analysis, a new Public Works Operations Center, and greatly expanded budgets for road repair, resurfacing, and safety.
Bramson praised the work of various municipal departments, including New Rochelle’s First Responders, who have helped bring the city’s crime rate to a near 60-year low, while answering thousands of calls for service with dedication and professionalism.
At a time of significant change and evolution, Bramson affirmed New Rochelle’s “unshakable, enduring commitment to inclusion and equity,” noting especially the city’s creation of new affordable housing, expanded youth programming, and enhanced partnerships with not-for-profit service agencies. These priorities, said Bramson, are “of special importance to communities like ours, which depend so profoundly on the contributions of residents from every heritage, tradition, and identity.” “We celebrate our diversity,” said Bramson, “knowing that all of us are enriched and ennobled by it.”
“The state of our city is strong,” concluded Bramson. “It will be for others to shape [our] future, to take our hard-earned progress, our newfound capacity and resources and momentum, and apply them to fresh goals. But I take great satisfaction in knowing that our city – like a ship swift and sure – is ready to go boldly and in full sail to any shore we choose.”