WCA Applauds Campus Additions, Expected to Nurture Entrepreneurial Climate in Westchester County
Iona College officials have approved a campus master plan with multi-million dollar projects including space to create and support new businesses and attract economic development in the surrounding North Avenue corridor in the City of New Rochelle, the Westchester County Business Journal reported this week. The new 54,000-square-foot home for the School of Business includes an incubator space, which is great news for Westchester, notes Marissa Brett, director of the WCA’s BLUEPRINT for Westchester, the aggressive economic development initiative to stimulate business development.
“Not only will the expansion grow Westchester’s knowledge economy, but the business incubator will serve as a new innovation hot spot, feeding into the WCA’s BLUEPRINT Accelerator Network. Together, we will continue to partner with our higher education institutions to provide a path for businesses to begin and remain in Westchester as they grow,” said Brett.
City officials re-zoned North Avenue last year, according to the story, paving the way for Iona’s plans, which also include a proposal for a mixed-use space in the campus section of New Rochelle. A new seven-story commercial and residential building could accommodate several hundred students on its upper floors, while hosting new businesses on North Avenue, such as bookstores and restaurants.
“By working together to allow for investment on campus and in the surrounding community, our local government and education industry are effectively reshaping the landscape and revitalizing the neighborhood to serve as an economic engine for Westchester,” adds Brett, echoing the statements of New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, who told the WBJ that Iona is “one of the anchors of the local economy as well as an engine of cultural activity and employment.”
The college is now completing architectural designs and financing plans for the residence hall and commercial-use building, and plans to launch a capital campaign to cover the on-campus renovations.