April 28, 2021
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Groundbreaking for $1.1 Million Park and Playground in Westchester County

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Governor Cuomo Announces Groundbreaking for $1.1 Million Park and Playground in Westchester County
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$343,000 Downtown Revitalization Initiative Award Will Construct Heritage Park Adjacent to 288-Unit Affordable Housing Development  

$10 Million DRI Investment in New Rochelle Enriches the Community with Key Catalytic Projects

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the start of construction on a $1.1 million public playground and park in the city of New Rochelle in Westchester County. Heritage Park will be easily accessible to residents of Heritage Homes, the adjacent 288-unit affordable housing development. The project supports the economic development efforts underway in New Rochelle through the city's selection as a winner of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative for the Mid-Hudson Region.  

"Heritage Park is the latest example of how the Downtown Revitalization Initiative is making targeted investments in cities, towns and villages across the state to build stronger economies and more vibrant communities," Governor Cuomo said. "By creating walkable and active communities, and improving the aesthetic of our downtowns, we are helping cities like New Rochelle attract new businesses, residents and visitors."  

The city of New Rochelle was awarded $343,000 through the Governor's Downtown Revitalization Initiative to construct a new playground and park at 51 Winthrop Avenue. The project advances the city of New Rochelle's goal to create more green and recreational space near the Lincoln Avenue corridor, as identified in the DRI Strategic Investment Plan. 

When complete, Heritage Park will offer new public space with amenities such as a playground, basketball court, game tables, grass lawn areas, shade trees, and seating.  

Heritage Park is being constructed adjacent to the state-financed Heritage Homes affordable housing development, which replaced the outdated public housing development known as the Hartley Houses. Constructed in three phases, Heritage Homes offers 288 apartments and townhouses for households earning at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income. The park will be accessible to residents as well as the broader community.  

The award is being administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal.  Additional financing is being provided by the city of New Rochelle in the amount of $207,000 ($157,000 in capital funds and $50,000 in CDBG) as a match. MacQuesten, the developer for Heritage Homes, is providing the balance of funding to complete the project.  

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, "Open spaces like parks improve quality of life and enhance the beauty of our communities. The Heritage Park in New Rochelle will offer children a safe place to run and play, while allowing residents to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. The Senate Majority will continue to invest in revitalization so projects like this continue across our State."

Senator Shelley B. Mayer said, "I am so pleased to see the groundbreaking on Heritage Park, which will be a wonderful asset to the residents of Heritage Homes housing units and the entire community.  This new park includes a terrific playground, which provides such important space for children to learn, explore, and simply have fun. It will also provide much needed space for children and adults of all ages to spend time together and enjoy themselves.  I thank all the stakeholders for working together to bring the funding together to make this happen."   

Assembly Member Amy Paulin said, "Parks and playgrounds are vital community resources.  They are a place for children to play, for families to bond, and a hub for communities to gather.  Having an accessible community park and playground at Heritage Park will enrich the community by giving children and families an opportunity to explore and relax outdoors, and support the economic development and downtown revitalization initiative underway in New Rochelle."

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, "I applaud New York State's Homes and Community Renewal for their $1.1 million dollar investment in Heritage Park in New Rochelle. My Administration has also made it a priority to invest in the parks and recreation spaces available to all residents - all over the County - and this groundbreaking ceremony is another major step in that direction. The renovation of Heritage Park will create a safe, attractive and accessible space for gatherings and recreation, with plenty of open green space and amenities for the community to enjoy."

New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, "Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we've seen the critical role that parks, squares and open spaces play in overcoming social isolation and providing safe spaces for physical activity. New Rochelle's Downtown Revitalization Initiative is breathing new life into the city with the development of innovative projects like Heritage Park.  Safe and accessible public gathering spaces elevate the value of a vibrant downtown and the new Heritage Park will transform an underutilized area into a beautiful park space right in the heart of New Rochelle. I am proud of the role that the Department of State has played in this project and look forward to the continued transformation of New Rochelle." 

Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "The Governor's Downtown Revitalization Initiative offers funding for projects that create vibrant downtowns with attractive streetscapes. This $343,000 award for Heritage Park will achieve that by constructing a safe recreational space that will provide a link between the HCR-financed Heritage Homes affordable housing development and the Lincoln Avenue commercial corridor. We are pleased to be part of this project that will benefit New Rochelle's families for decades to come."

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, "We all know of the of the positive role outdoor space and exercise play in the lives of New Yorkers both physically and mentally, especially over the past year. The creation of this new public playground and park will be vital to the city of New Rochelle's sense of community and their overall revitalization and recovery."

Mayor Noam Bramson said, "Heritage Park will provide children and families with a safe and attractive place to play and enjoy the outdoors.  It is part of our historic investment in the Lincoln Avenue corridor, made possible by New York State's DRI program.  We are grateful for the State's leadership and confidence, and look forward to continuing our partnership with residents to ensure that DRI initiatives reflect community needs and goals."

MacQuesten Development LLC. Principal Rella Fogliano said, "I am so proud to be a partner on such an important revitalization project in the great City of New Rochelle. The Heritage Homes project created hundreds of transitional high-quality housing units for lower income folks. Now we move to the final phase of building much needed recreational facilities for the community. The State of New York and the City have proven their deep commitment to economic development and affordable housing. It is my deep pleasure to partner with them." 

New Rochelle was named a DRI Round 3 winner in 2018. As part of the DRI, New Rochelle is connecting its evolving and prosperous city center with the mile-long Lincoln Avenue Corridor that contains mixed-income residential housing, a newly renovated hospital, green space, a Metro North Train Station and part of the city's Arts and Cultural District.  

The New Rochelle Strategic Investment Plan is guiding the investment of DRI grant funds in revitalization projects that advance the community's vision for its downtown and leverage and expand upon the state's $10 million investment. The DRI will build upon significant public-private investment over the past few years to spur commercial, residential, and mixed-use development in the city. DRI investments will leverage city resources and private investments to forge connections between residential neighborhoods in the northern portion of the corridor with commercial, institutional, and cultural resources to the south. The city envisions infrastructure improvements that will improve pedestrian and traffic circulation and extend the downtown's walkable, sustainable, transit-oriented design into this corridor to create a bustling environment in which to live and work. The New Rochelle DRI Strategic Investment Plan received the Meritorious Achievement Award from the American Planning Association New York Metro in October 2020.  

About the Downtown Revitalization Initiative   
In 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo launched a major new initiative—the Downtown Revitalization Initiative.  Through the DRI, the Governor moved to aggressively accelerate and expand the revitalization of downtowns and neighborhoods to serve as centers of activity and catalysts for investment in all ten regions of the state.  The DRI represents an unprecedented and innovative plan-to-act strategy that couples strategic planning with immediate implementation.   

In the first four years of the DRI, the State has committed $400 million to invest in downtowns that are ripe for revitalization and have the potential to become magnets for redevelopment, business, job creation, greater economic and housing diversity, and opportunity. Participating communities are nominated by the state's ten Regional Economic Development Councils based on the downtown's potential for transformation, and each community is awarded $10 million to develop a downtown strategic investment plan and implement key catalytic projects that advance the community's vision for revitalization. The DRI is chaired by New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. Communities receive support from private sector experts and a team of state agency staff led by the Department of State in close partnership with Empire State Development, and NYS Homes and Community Renewal. Other agencies are also involved in reviewing and implementing projects. 

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

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