The New Rochelle Industrial Development Agency granted preliminary approval Oct. 29 for $27.8 million in tax subsidies on a proposed $253 million residential tower that will include one church and relocate another.
The project will be built at Main and Church streets where two churches own parcels.
“By working collaboratively with the French Speaking Baptist Church to relocate,” BRP Development Corp. states in its IDA application, “the company has ensured that the city will not lose an important religious institution. The project will preserve the presence of the New York Covenant Church … and provide it with new and improved space.”
“Any time you deal with two churches, it has certainly become an atypical development,” Rashid Walker, managing director of BRP, said in a telephone interview. “That said, both churches were really easy to deal with. They could not be nicer people or nicer organizations.”
BRP Development Corp. is a minority-owned firm based in Manhattan that specializes in affordable, mixed-income housing close to transportation hubs.
Last year, BRP got city approvals for a $57 million mixed-income apartment building at 10 Commerce St. That project will break ground at the end of November.
The new site, Walker said, “if not the best, is one of the best locations in New Rochelle. I love its proximity to the train station and to improved amenities in the area.”
Four old buildings will be torn down and replaced with a 25-story structure.
New York Covenant owns the two-story building at 500 Main St. BRP owns 506 Main St., used by a thrift store, and 510 Main St., where Liebman’s children’s clothing store has operated since 1927.
The French Baptist Church owns the building at 12 Church St., built in 1901 and used for nearly a century as a fire station and fire department headquarters.
BRP plans to build 477 apartments, an automated parking garage with 452 spaces, nearly 2,500 square feet of ground floor retail space and the church.
The residential portion of the building will have a fitness room, pool, spa, clubrooms and rooftop terraces, according to the IDA application.
New York Covenant will occupy space on the first two floors, including an auditorium, classrooms, offices and dance studio. It will use a temporary location during construction.
The French Baptist church will move to 344 Webster Ave., formerly used by Born Again United Church Apostolic. BRP bought the property last year for $1.6 million, according to a county property record.
The developer has proposed payments in lieu of taxes that would cost $27,695,737 over 20 years and save $18.2 million in property taxes. BRP also is asking for exemptions of $8.4 million in sales and use taxes during construction and $1.2 million for the mortgage recording tax.
The costs of building a church is excluded from the IDA benefits, BRP’s attorney, Janet J. Giris, told the board.
The company plans to start building next fall and open for occupancy in early 2022. It will create about 300 construction jobs, according to the IDA application, and then 10 full-time equivalent jobs.
The project could receive final approval at the Nov. 21 IDA meeting.