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Not-For-Profit Local Development Corporation


We recommend the creation of a City Park Local Development Corporation (CPLDC) as a not-for-profit entity to facilitate and oversee the continued development of industry in the area. The LDC would be a private, non-governmental development organization run by local residents, business owners, and other stakeholders in the neighborhood. The mission of the LDC would be to strengthen and improve the City Park neighborhood both economically and physically while leveraging the diversity of the community.

The LDC could be used to direct the City Park area’s development as the residents and business owners see fit. To reinforce industry, an LDC might:
· Strengthen the industrial base of the area by providing management and technical assistance to businesses. This would include resources such as management training, financial advising, and marketing and export assistance.
· Improve the area’s infrastructure to make it more suitable for light industrial vehicles. Carry out other physical improvements to enhance the area’s value for manufacturing, including noise-reducing landscaping (e.g., strategically placed trees) that would ensure the compatibility of industrial uses with the surrounding neighborhoods.
· Assist in developing new, modern manufacturing and warehouse space in the area, as well as retrofitting and modernizing existing structures.
· Link businesses with financial resources such as tax credits and small business incentives for which they may qualify
· Develop a network of local businesses that could potentially form the basis for a county-wide manufacturers’ association. Networking could be facilitated through events such as workshops and trade shows.
· Provide employment services to match qualified employees with firms. This could include partnerships with educational institutions in New Rochelle and elsewhere in southern Westchester County.

This list of possible services to be offered by the LDC is not exhaustive or definitive. Rather, its functions would change and expand as new community needs were brought to its attention.


The principal agents in forming a City Park LDC would be local residents, business owners, and other community stakeholders. Interested parties should conduct a needs assessment to identify crucial objectives, existing programs and area potential. Community organization in City Park has already been galvanized by the fight against Ikea, so the basic community networks needed to form an LDC are in place.

As a launching point, we outlined a strategic plan and mission statement in line with our vision for reinforcing Westchester’s industrial base. However, it is critical that the established LDC clearly affirm objectives up front to avoid political conflicts, duplication of services, or competition for funds with another development corporation.

The success of the LDC would be dependent on how well the founders address the key elements of building consensus, procuring stable funding, establishing due process, and creating a sound organization and good community relations. The general criteria are modeled in a four-step fundamental plan.

Step 1 - Bring together community residents, city officials, other stakeholders and people with technical and financial resources to draft the strategic plan and goals. It would be particularly important that the residents of the MacLeay apartment complex be represented in the group, as they have been underrepresented in the community discussions thus far. This group would lead to formation of a board of directors. Diverse representation from all affected sectors of the community, as well as support from influential city officials, would be important (6 months). During the start-up phase, the LDC could be run by a part-time executive director in a small office space that may be provided by one of the area businesses.

Step 2 - Explore all funding resources available, including state and city incentives, foundations, philanthropic groups, and existing economic development project groups (see funding section below). It could also be beneficial to identify an interim fiscal agent that already has 501(c)3 tax-exempt status while pursuing funding (6 months).

Step 3 - Write and submit all federal, state, city and environmental applications and proposals. This would include filing with the IRS, filing the 501(c)3 status, registering the LDC with the state, creating a consolidated plan and abiding by standard EIS procedures (1-2 years).

Step 4 – Establish an initial organizational structure based on a five-year plan including: a working board to form the LDC, an executive director, an interim volunteer staff (until funding provides for permanent staffing), and several committees to (a) draft bylaws and articles of incorporation, (b) initiate fundraising, (c) build community relations and (d) develop programs. It would be essential for the working board to address ongoing organizational structure as part of the LDC’s formation. (3 months)

There are a number of programmatic details the LDC working boardwould need to address within each of these steps. However, the key would be a carefully planned blueprint. Only through rigorous organizational principles could an LDC become an effective agent in the face of two extreme challenges, fundraising and land acquisition.

Possibly the greatest challenge in founding an LDC is securing the initial funding. To assume legitimate development power, the LDC would need enough support to acquire and convert some parcels in accordance with its industrial vision. A diversified financial scheme would ensure a more balanced approach. This sub-section identifies a variety of potential resources for the proposed City Park LDC.

Foundations and Grants (from Private and Nonprofit Sectors)

· The LDC could pursue grants from private banks and financial institutions via the Community Reinvestment Act, which would encourage depository institutions to help meet the financial needs of the communities in which they operate. CRA provisions include not only loans but grants, which commonly fall within the range of $2,500 to $5,000.

· The proposed development corporation could also pursue funding from local and regional nonprofit institutions such as the Westchester Community Foundation, which provides grants in the range of $10,000 for programs that strengthen communities. The Foundation also has environmental programs that fund development plans for brownfield areas, which include former shopping centers, vehicle stroage sites, and other areas like the City Park area that do not necessarily pose a health threat. Grants of this type typically range from $20,000 to $30,000. (Conversation with Catherine Marsh, Executive Director of the Westchester Community Foundation, April 20, 2001)

Federal, State, and County Resources

· Community Development Block Grants: The needs of the LDC could be incorporated into New Rochelle’s Consolidated Plan, which is used to solicit CDBG funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

· Industrial Retention Network/Move Smart Program: In its “Jobs Agenda 2001,” the New York State Assembly has outlined plans for $4.3 million in funding for an Industrial Retention Network to provide business and financial assistance to manufacturers. The Assembly supports funding of industrial retention efforts in each region of the state to link Local Development Corporations with funding and assistance from government agencies, financial institutions, unions, and non-for-profit organizations. The proposed LDC could also possibly channel assistance from the $4 million allocated in the Jobs Agenda for Technology Development Organizations (TDOs). The TDO program leverages state and federal funds to provide technical assistance to manufacturers seeking to increase their efficiency and competitiveness.

· The Westchester County Industrial Development Authority (WCIDA) issues Industrial Revenue Bonds for purchasing land, building or renovating structures, and buying machinery and equipment. For qualified manufacturing projects, bonds are exempt from federal, state, and local taxes.

· The Empire State Development Corporation’s (ESDC) Empire Zones (EZ) Program encourages business development in designated areas by offering targeted incentives and benefits to new and expanding commercial and industrial firms. Benefits include sales tax, wage tax and investment tax credits, free security surveys, and energy discounts. However, it should be noted that a city with a median income as high as New Rochelle’s would have difficulty in obtaining an Empire Zone designation, as New Rochelle and Westchester in general are perceived as wealthy in comparison with distressed areas upstate.

Once the LDC developed a base of member businesses, annual dues would contribute to its revenue sources. Nonetheless, fundraising would be a perennial activity, as local development corporations generally rely heavily on government and private support for their continuing operation.


Since the LDC would be a non-profit entity, donors of property or money would receive a tax deduction for their contributions. This would provide an attractive exit strategy to any landowners seeking to rid themselves of property in the area.


The City Park LDC would bring a proactive vision to the area and provide a the long-term organizational means for sustainable economic development. Not only would it serve as a vehicle by which funds from various sources could be directed to the neighborhood, but it would also empower the community to take part in the area’s development. By this means, an area heretofore perceived as blighted coiuld increase its economic and social vibrancy. Furthermore, the type of economic development promoted by the LDC would especially benefit low and moderate income workers by retaining and creating jobs that pay relatively high wages without requiring advanced degrees.