Category Archives: Updates

What’s Happening this Spring

As Renaissance waits for the snow to melt and usher in the warmth of Spring, we’ve still been fastidiously working on our internal operations while Siris and Sean have been stepping out into the limelight.  Huntington Station also made some headway with construction starting on our Northridge site along with some other news.

Siris Barrios, our community liaison with our Riverside Rediscovered project, helped spearhead the project SEPA Mujer, which is a leadership academy to empower local Latina women for civic engagement.

The training, called the Civic Leadership Academy, the third of its kind on Long Island, is the result of a partnership between Riverside Rediscovered and Services for the Advancement of Women (SEPA Mujer.) The program looks to foster civic engagement in the Latino community by providing a safe space for women to learn about how their community works and how to become more active members in it.

Fifteen women, including Ms. Zuniga-Tellez, were honored this past January at Southampton Town Hall for graduating from the 25-hour training program, during which they learned about the history of government, the electoral college and local government as well as how to organize meetings and navigate educational opportunities.

“We feel more confident about ourselves and we feel we can become more involved in our communities,” Ms. Zuniga-Tellez said of the program during the ceremony. “We’re not enemies — we’re friends. We are allies.”

“We’re really proud of being a partner with SEPA,” Ms. Barrios said. “We feel that they’re in alignment with the type of leadership we want to see in the community.”

In mid-March, Sean McLean, our Vice President of Planning and Development, popped up in The Real Deal, which is a New York Real Estate News Publication. Sean and other Developers from the Long Island / Metropolitan area spoke with the news outlet on their ideas about the future of housing on Long Island is unfolding in the years ahead.

Sean discussed a number of multifamily projects underway on suburban Long Island and which ones will head the most impact and which ones to pay close attention to. In that vein, he spoke about our Riverside project but also pointed to other LI developments such as The Heartland, Mineola and the Greybarn in Amityville as opportunities to keep an eye on.

Sean also highlighted some of Long Islands bigger issues including infrastructure, parking, water and sewer needs and how to address those sensitive subjects. Could it be by increasing dialogue about the municipal benefits of these upgrades and not their detriments?  Sean really stood out in the article and gave a very thorough projection about what he’s sees happening down the road and to read more, click this link to see what else he has to say about where the Island is heading.

Lastly, in Huntington Station, Source the Station continues to be successful with its micro-grant system. Con Artist, a local resident and artist was featured on VerizonFios' PushPause for her public art efforts. Conversational Spanish classes will kick off in the April in partnership with the Huntington Opportunity Resource Center, an Oral Histories video project will be revealed soon, and events with youth in the community are never ending from movie outings, to bike giveaway & safety events to Operation Cinderella/fella aimed at helping teens who can't afford to attend prom and/or buy graduation outfits.

Renaissance Downtowns development efforts as Master Developer for Huntington Station are finally starting! Our partnership with Blue & Gold Homes for the Northridge project is in full swing as we have seen the beginning of site work and construction. Northridge will include ~6200 SF of commercial space and 16 one-bedroom apartments (contact Signature Premier Properties for leasing). The Gateway Plaza project also continues to move forward. Renaissance is excited to have kicked off the revitalization of Huntington Station and to continue working with the Huntington Station community on this project!

As always, stay tuned to what going on with our projects by contacting us, logging onto our Facebook Page and also keeping up with our Liaisons. We are looking forward to a productive Spring and hopefully some more exciting updates come Summer.

Winter is Here. January 2017

2017 kicked off with a bang for Renaissance with our ongoing revitalization efforts in Huntington Station having received $1.25 million from Suffolk County for infrastructure design plans. The county legislature approved the funding for design and engineering that will serve as the road map for the larger $20 million dollar project for the future construction of sewers along New York Avenue in Huntington Station.

“Hopefully the study will come in that this is feasible, and we believe it is, and how to actually to do it,” Town of Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone said after the announcement. “It’s an opportunity to see a dream come true for the Station, where developers can come in and do commercial projects, start redoing buildings, people will sell buildings, others will buy them, strip malls will convert and start to revitalize, all increasing the economy of the Station.” This was a great way to start the year for everyone involved.

In other exciting news, our Source the Station Community Liaison (also our tech guru and probably best dressed person in the office) is now the voice of her generation for Suffolk County. Renaissance's own Andrea Bonilla was chosen to serve as a representative on the newly-established Suffolk County Next Generation Advisory Council. The Council is meant to offer insight and assistance in creative legislative initiatives and programs to help keep millennials living and working in Suffolk County.

Each Suffolk County Legislator appointed one resident aged 22 to 35. Legislator Lou D’Amaro selected Bonilla.

“While many millennials are leaving Long Island, especially after graduating from college, Ms. Bonilla came home and immediately began giving back to the community she loved,” D’Amaro said in a press release. “Her hard work and dedication are clearly inspiring. Suffolk County is fortunate to benefit from Ms. Bonilla’s leadership and enthusiasm as we craft solutions to keep young people engaged and rooted here.”

We are very proud of Andrea and wish her the best of luck in her new role as advisor.

As we settle into the New Year, our planning and development teams are continuing to hammer away at all of our projects and all of our CSPM efforts have resumed post-holiday break. In the meantime, stay tuned for more updates and stay warm. Drop us a line for any questions or for further information regarding our work, give us a call.  Just ask for Laura. 516-433-9000.

Renaissance Downtowns 2016 Year End Update

The year is winding down but it’s certainly been an exciting couple of weeks for Renaissance as we broke ground on 4 projects: The City of Nashua, NH, Glen Cove, NY, New Rochelle, NY & the Village of Hempstead, NY. Years of hard work have been leading up to all of these ceremonious occasions where groundbreakings have finally commenced.

Our first groundbreaking was in Nashua, New Hampshire, on what we are calling The Residences at Riverfront Landing.  Building on the Bridge Street property near where the Merrimack and Nashua rivers meet is to begin by the years end. Once complete, it will offer 152 units as part of a multi-family housing complex. "This project has been in the making for 10-plus years, and I am pleased to see it come to fruition," Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess said.


We went on to crack the dirt on the Garvies Point project in Glen Cove, NY. This project will include 1,100 apartments and condominiums along with parkland and waterfront access.

Mayor Reginald Spinello said the economic benefits for Glen Cove outweigh concerns about increased traffic or changing the area’s character. He said the $1 billion project will bring in more than $800 million in new tax revenue over the next 40 years and add up to 1,800 residents to the city, which has a population of about 27,000.


Our CEO, Donald Monti, stood alongside our partners from RXR Realty, community members and Glen Cove City Officials to kick off the 5-7 year construction process and to celebrate this momentous occurrence.

In the City of New Rochelle, our partners, RXR, got underway on a $120 million apartment building in downtown that will include 12 million square feet for new apartments, commercial-office space and arts and cultural institutions. We were happy to be there together with our Partners who were able to achieve entitlements for this project based upon our combined efforts in rezoning downtown New Rochelle together as a team.

Lastly our team along with Hempstead Village and Nassau County officials broke ground on the first phase of a $2.5 billion downtown redevelopment — demolition of a former car dealership on Main Street.

“This day is finally here, I can’t ask for anything better than this,” Hempstead Mayor Wayne Hall said during the ceremony Tuesday. “This is the hope of Hempstead. It’s going to bring jobs here in an area that’s hard-pressed and change the complexion of the downtown area. This is still the hub of Long Island.”


Monti said developers have committed 25 percent of 12,000 construction job years and 6,000 permanent jobs to Hempstead Village residents.

The four development plans for the revitalization were approved by the Hempstead Village Board and the Nassau County Planning Board. Developers and village officials have been planning the 32-acre downtown redevelopment for nearly 10 years and the groundbreaking was certainly a joyous occasion for all involved.

It’s been a productive and challenging but very rewarding year at Renaissance.  Our team wishes to thank everyone in each of the communities we are working in for all their support and hard work this year. As 2016 closes and business slows till the New Year, Renaissance wants to wish everyone a happy, & healthy holiday and prosperous 2017. Here’s to more good news in 2017!

Renaissance Downtowns selected as master developer for New Rochelle, NY

newrochelleThe City of New Rochelle announced on October 8, 2014 the selection of RDRXR, a partnership of Renaissance Downtowns and RXR Realty, as master developer for the largest and most significant economic development initiative in the city’s history. In its new capacity, RDRXR will work with the city and its residents to finalize the creation of a consensus-driven, mixed-use, transit-oriented proposal based on a preliminary blueprint outlined by RDRXR that spans multiple sites and would dramatically re-shape New Rochelle’s downtown, while also spurring economic growth and job creation for the entire region

"This sweeping and visionary proposal exemplifies the principles of smart, transit-oriented growth, addresses community goals that have been pursued for a generation, and would deliver huge benefits to our economy and quality of life,” said New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson. “While there are many steps ahead, including difficult challenges and questions, I have never been more excited or optimistic about our prospects, and I am looking forward to the inclusive public input that will shape every aspect of the project."

The selection of a master developer caps a detailed and thoughtful process that began with various studies and planning exercises over the past year, leading to the subsequent creation of real estate development goals and objectives for the downtown and the issuance of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to developers earlier this spring. The choice of a single development team will ensure an integrated, efficient, and holistic approach for the entire downtown, maximizing the value of all sites.

Development Commissioner Luiz Aragon noted, “This proposal is an amalgam of transformational ideas, structures, and actions embodying the very foundation of the soul and socio-economic mosaic of our City.  New Rochelle’s time is here, our future is now.”

Renaissance Downtowns is a leader in the comprehensive and holistic redevelopment of transit-oriented downtowns, with over 35 years of development experience and over 80 complete projects. Renaissance’s Unified Development Approach™ to implement large-scale downtown redevelopment, utilizing CSPM Group's crowdsourced placemaking community engagement program, are both nationally recognized as industry best practices. Renaissance has a development pipeline in excess of $10 billion with master developer projects spread throughout the Northeast, with a focus on the New York Tri-State area.

RXR is a vertically integrated private real estate company with expertise in investment management, property management, development, design, construction, leasing and financing. RXR’s core growth strategy is focused on New York City and the surrounding tri-state area markets. RXR is one of the largest owners, managers, and developers in the New York Tri-State area with interests in approximately $9.0 billion of assets, comprised of 89 operating properties containing approximately 19.5 million square feet.

“We are thrilled to have been selected as master developer by New Rochelle,” said Scott Rechler, CEO of RXR Realty. “We believe that New Rochelle has incredible assets, including its diverse population and excellent transit infrastructure, with the potential to become one of the region’s leading ‘urban-suburban communities’ – the type of community that we are looking to help create throughout the region through our Emerging Sub-Market investment strategy. We look forward to working with our partners at RDRXR and the entire New Rochelle community to develop a blueprint for development that has widespread buy-in and can be implemented in a timely fashion.”

According to Donald Monti, CEO of Renaissance Downtowns, “Using the Unified Development Approach and crowdsourced placemaking, we look to provide a framework that engages all community stakeholders through a proactive and inclusive public outreach and engagement process employing our triple-bottom-line philosophy of social, economic, and environmental responsibility. The implementation strategy will enable the City to achieve its long term goals and objectives for its downtown.”

New Rochelle City Councilmembers expressed their support of the project.

Councilmember Ivar Hyden, downtown business owner and artist:
“Downtown New Rochelle is poised to grow and experience the urban renaissance it deserves economically and artistically”

Councilmember Albert Tarantino, downtown business owner:
“This proposal reflects the needs of our downtown business community by expanding our business base and bringing vibrancy to our core.”

Councilmember Jared Rice:
“RDRXR’s proposal will be a catalyst for local job creation and economic growth.”

Councilmember Louis Trangucci
“This proposal will help generate the much needed increase in our tax base so that adequate services can be funded and provided citywide.”

Councilmember Barry Fertel
"This exciting proposal offers the most dramatic transformation of New Rochelle's downtown in its history.  In partnership with RDRXR, this new approach will allow for a transparent process resulting in a final product reflecting the needs and aspirations of our community."
Councilmember Shari Rackman

Haina Just-Michael, Chair, Library Board
“The New Rochelle Public Library appreciates being part of the development process towards the future of the city of New Rochelle. The Library is not only located in an integral part of New Rochelle but services the community and will continue to do so in the future and is happy and proud to be involved with the development of the New New Rochelle.”

Lianne A. Merchant, President, Board of Education
“This is an exciting time to live in New Rochelle and to be educated here. It is great to be part of the growth and evolution of our city. This new urban and transit oriented development landscape will dramatically change the look and feel of New Rochelle, and make it a more enjoyable place for our children to learn, grow and thrive."

Ralph DiBart, President, BID
“I am thrilled that the City’s TOD development initiative, so important to the success of our downtown, which was stalled by the Great Recession, will not only now proceed, but will do so with a greatly improved mixed use program.”

Renaissance Downtowns
Lia Dallaris, Director of Investor Relations
(516) 433-9000 ext. 1523
Facebook: renaissancedowntowns Twitter: @rendowntowns

Social offerings, openness, aesthetics drive economic performance

driversWhat are the drivers that create emotional bonds between people and their community? Based on a recent study, jobs, the economy, and safety are not among the top drivers, but rather an area’s opportunities for socializing, a community’s openness to all people and its physical beauty.

However, these attachments aren"t just social indicators. The study also showed that the communities with the highest levels of attachment had the highest rates of gross domestic product growth. Socializing, openness and physical beauty are also the primary indicators for a city"s bottom line as well.

The study was conducted by the Knight Foundation over three years in 26 cities across the U.S., supported by a Gallup survey of 43,000 individuals: Why People Love Where They Live and Why It Matters: A National Perspective.

How does Renaissance Downtowns prioritize social offerings, openness and aesthetics?

drivers_cities_top_threeBelow are the top three drivers listed with their associated characteristics, with the table to the right illustrating their ranking in the 26 cities among the seven other indicators, in order: education, leadership, basic services, economy, safety, social capital, civic involvement. Following each characteristic are Renaissance"s principles.

Social offerings — Places for people to meet each other and the feeling that people in the community care about each other
- オンライン カジノ Vibrant nightlife: Downtowns need to be a destination at night to attract emerging generations.
- Good place to meet people: Public spaces and third places are prioritized ideas from the very beginning.
- Other people care about each other: Renaissance uses crowdsourced placemaking to establish a collaborative community with shared values at the onset of any project.
- Availability of arts and cultural opportunities: These are consistently among the most requested during the crowdsourced placemaking process.
- Availability of social community events: Renaissance has catalyzed community-wide events, involving record-breaking crowds, as demonstrations of how vibrant a downtown could be before any development ever occurs.

Openness — How welcoming the community is to different types of people, including families with young children, minorities, and talented college graduates
- Good place for older people; racial and ethnic minorities; families with young children; gays and lesbians; young, talented college graduates looking for work; immigrants and young adults without children: The crowdsourced placemaking process does not discriminate, and inspires everyone to work together with the shared values of improving their community"s quality of life. Because the community of participants is permanent, not temporary, people with different backgrounds learn to appreciate both their differences and similarities as they collaborate on projects throughout they year.

Aesthetics — The physical beauty of the community including the availability of parks and green spaces
- Availability of parks, playgrounds, and trails: These are among the most often-requested amenities in the crowdsourced placemaking process, as well as central plazas and squares.
- Beauty or physical setting: Collectively, Renaissance"s commitment to quality coupled with the community"s utmost demand for beautiful design, architecture and landscaping, lead to a joint accountability for excellence through the crowdsourced placemaking process.