The Save Our Armory committee in New Rochelle is planning a meeting – actually, two – to talk about what the next life should be for the 1931 former naval building on East Main Street.
Now that the city has called on developers and organizations to pitch “creative” proposals for the reuse of the vacant brick building with its vaulted ceiling, Save Our Armory plans on putting together its entry in time for the July 20 deadline, said Peter Parente, a member of the group’s board.
There’s been a bit of a hitch in the planning of the meeting, however. Originally, it was planned for 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (May 31) at American Legion Post 8 hall, 112 North Ave. But Parente said officials of the American Legion post have another meeting planned in the main room, so the Save Our Armory committee is moving its official meeting to the following week, June 7.
The problem is that some literature went out announcing the meeting with tomorrow’s date. Some of it was handed out at the Memorial Day picnic at Hudson Park.
So some members of Save Our Armory will be there tomorrow, in a smaller room, to begin the discussion if people show up, Parente said. Then the committee will meet again, a week later, at the same time, he said.
The group was formed to stop the armory from being razed, which was a possibility as the city sought to bring a massive plan to the area, on Echo Bay waterfront. Now the city is instead looking for someone to convert the brick building with its vaulted ceiling into a new destination that could include, for instance, a performing arts center, a gallery, a restaurant and banquet hall, a maritime center, stores, a market place, and so on.
But concerns over the building haven’t ended.
Forest City Residential, the company planning the Echo Bay development, wanted to knock down an annex on the armory to make room for the road that would open up the waterfront to the public, a key goal of the city. Abe Naparstek, a Forest City vice president, has said, however, that the company is also considering a variation on the plan that would leave the annex in place.
The Save the Armory Committee wants the entire building preserved, annex and all.