MacQuesten Development will probably get the right to develop property owned by the city of New Rochelle at 45 Harrison St.
Luiz Aragon, commissioner of development, told the New Rochelle City Council on Tuesday that a selection committee favors a proposal from the Pelham company over the ideas presented by the Richman Group and Brock Services Corp. partnership.
MacQuesten had presented plans to the council last month for a 27-story tower with 282 apartments, nearly 50,000 square feet of office space, 9,500 square feet of retail space and a four-story parking garage. The company did not disclose a project budget.
The city property is just outside of the core downtown area – near Huguenot and Main streets and I-95 – and is the site of Fire Station 1.
One of the stipulations is that whoever wins the development rights may not disrupt fire department operations and must relocate the station.
Engineers assured MacQuesten that contractors can work safely around the fire station for 18 months, Joe Apicella, managing director of development, told the council on May 9.
MacQuesten wants to acquire the Post Marine Supply property at 65 River St. for the new fire station. Apicella indicated that the developer might need the city to use the eminent domain process to seize the land.
MacQuesten is working with Mitchell Associates Architects, a firm that works exclusively on building firehouses, to plan and build a new station.
The Brock-Richman partnership proposed a $162.8 million, 28-story building with 300 apartments, 42,000 square feet of offices, 36,000 square feet of retail and a five-level parking garage.
Brock owns land on Cedar Street next to the fire station. The plan was to begin construction there while looking for a site for the fire station. After the new station was built, it would phase in two more sections for the mixed-use tower on Harrison Street.
Brock-Richman representatives told the council in May that they might develop the Brock land even if they don’t win development rights for the city property.
“I hope we can have both teams working in New Rochelle,” Mayor Noam Bramson said on Tuesday, “and have multiple sites in play.”
Aragon said a staff committee evaluated the proposals from a development angle, the needs of the fire department and the best interests of the city financially.
He said MacQuesten has to deal with two big issues quickly. One, it needs to demap Cedar Street, the process of taking the street out of service so that an additional 36,000 square feet can be used for the project. Two, it has to select a site for a new fire station and go through environmental reviews.
Construction of the fire station and the mixed-use tower could begin early next year, he said.
The city council is scheduled to formally act on the MacQuesten Development proposal at its June 20 session.