In the last issue of this Bulletin, we reported on a massive citizen effort in New Rochelle, New York to block a 300,000 square foot Ikea furniture superstore. In late January, Ikea and the city jointly announced that they would drop the project.
Although the press release issued by Mayor Tim Idoni, who strongly favored the chain, focused on certain unresolvable traffic issues, opponents contend that the organized and sustained citizen opposition ultimately led to the project’s demise.
The announcement provides at least a temporary reprieve for the City Park neighborhood, which was slated to be demolished by the city to make way for Ikea. The 16 acres to be razed included 26 local businesses and the homes of 160 residents. In his press release, Mayor Idoni says the city remains committed to “redeveloping [this] blighted area” to generate new tax revenue.