NEW ROCHELLE, NY – Based on exterior appearances, the sleek and contemporary new downtown Huguenot building doesn’t look like a family business, but once through the crisp glass doors, it begins to become clear that it is This is a different kind of place than the luxury towers that have dramatically changed the New Rochelle skyline in recent years.
Despite the sleek, modern look of the brand new residential building, the owner family of the Huguenot take pride in running the property like a small business on a grand scale.
“The Huguenot is proud to be a family business,” boasts the Huguenot website. “We understand that you’re not just renting an apartment, you’re building a home. Our mission is to provide our tenants with an unparalleled experience, so that every time they walk through the door, they always have the feel like they’ve come home.”
The claim sounds like well-rehearsed marketing spiel, but the promise is surprisingly genuine. When Patch met the building’s landlord, Frank Chechile, at a recent Huguenot open house, he was busy helping a tenant track down an important package that FedEx delivered to the building’s automated locker system.
“We’re a full-service organization,” Chechile joked, but he said his parents, who built the business from humble beginnings, wouldn’t want it any other way.
Chechile explained the Huguenot origin story from the rooftop terrace of the newly opened luxury skyscraper.
“My parents ran a gas station right there for years,” he said, pointing to Main Street. “Just as an investment, they bought a property across the street. My dad did all the maintenance and mom did the books and collected the rent checks.”
Chechile said convincing her parents to go ahead with the ambitious project on the plot of property where they once spent their workweek renting U-Haul trucks required a promise to maintain the same spirit of personal connection. that the couple practiced as owners of small businesses in the neighborhood. . This promise has been kept in stark contrast to the nearby large development projects that have become prolific in the downtown corridor.
In fact, Chechile’s son lives there and manages the residential high-rise.
Steel and glass skyscrapers seem to sprout almost daily in New Rochelle and some see parallels to the recent development rush that changed Brooklyn forever and, in many cases, gentrified neighborhoods and longtime residents . Chechile said development here takes a very different course. Despite New Rochelle’s proximity to Manhattan, he said he sees surprisingly few new tenants who regularly travel to New York.
“The appeal of living in New Rochelle is living in New Rochelle,” Chechile said. “The train station is only minutes away, but we don’t see a lot of people from Manhattan looking to move. We see a lot of people from other parts of New Rochelle who are excited to be part of a downtown revival. -town.”
The Huguenot also becomes something of an incubator for the next generation of small business owners. The couple who will run the soon-to-open cafe, Casaoma, in the commercial space of the building, are also residents of the property. Yaretsy Flores and Kevin Rucker said that in addition to selling a damn good cup of coffee, the new business will focus on culture, community and collaboration, making the small business a perfect fit in the big building with a vibe. neighborhood.
While Chechile takes obvious pleasure in telling the story of his parents building a future in the city he has a special connection with, when he shifts gears to show off the conveniences and technological marvels of the Hugonot, he takes the air of a man proud of his house. new owner as he points out the plans for the rooftop community space and the amenities of the spacious top-floor apartments.
Knowing his owner by his first name has its advantages, but the Huguenot is far from renting an attic room to a retired widow. The newly constructed six-story residential building features amenities that include a free pet lounge, a fitness center complete with Peloton bikes, and rooftop community areas with fire pits, grills, and views of both the Manhattan skyline and the Long Island Sound.