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Old Posted Dec 3, 2016, 1:04 AM
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RXR breaks ground on 28-story New Rochelle tower

Celebrants at the ceremonial groundbreaking of a $120 million, 28-story mixed-use building in downtown New Rochelle on Nov. 30 left unspoken a big reason for their joy: Speed equals money.

Public officials and principals of RXR Realty, the developer of 587 Main St., boasted about how quickly the project got going.

The groundbreaking took place 10 months after the project was announced.

Contrast that timetable with RXR’s Garvies Point mixed-use project in Glen Cove, Nassau County. Groundbreaking is scheduled for Dec. 5, 13 years after the project was first pitched.

RXR promised to break ground in November, said New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, “and here we are today. They delivered.”

City Manager Charles Strome III said starting the project in less than a year is a monumental achievement.

“You think it’s easy to get seven city councilmen to unanimously agree?” he asked. “It’s not. With a lot of councils this wouldn’t have happened.”

Scott Rechler, RXR’s chairman and CEO, said the city’s urgency gave the firm the confidence to act quickly.

Speed counts. Speed lowers the costs of planning and prepping a project. It quickens the schedule for collecting rents and making a return on investment.

Construction workers are put on the job sooner and permanent jobs are filled. New stores can open.

Replacing a blighted, abandoned property with a modern residential-retail tower enhances property values and expands the tax base.

Other developers see what’s going on and propose their own projects.

“It creates a self-reinforcing cycle,” Rechler said.

The 587 Main St. project is also the proof of New Rochelle’s strategy for positioning the city as an ideal suburb of New York City.