Real Estate Weekly
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Construction & Design

Community, city hail Jerome Avenue rezoning

One year in to the Jerome Avenue Neighborhood Plan, 750 affordable homes have been preserved, 11,000 tenants protected, and construction is set to get underway on an elevator to the 4 train at West 170th Street.

Department of City Planning Director Marisa Lago offered the progress report on the $189 million effort to imporve Bronx parks and playgrounds, pedestrian safety, schools and affordable housing.

“After years of community-based planning, we’re now hard at work preserving and building affordable housing, jobs and businesses in this transit-rich corner of the Bronx. Hats off to our hard-working partners in the Jerome Avenue community and their elected officials who continue to guide needed investments in their neighborhood,” said DCP director Lago.

The plan covers a two-mile stretch of Jerome Avenue, roughly from 167th Street to 184th Street. In the year since adoption HPD has preserved more than 750 homes in addition to the 5,500 units preserved during the three-year planning process. That is enough housing to enable more than 12,000 residents to stay in their homes.

Free legal services have been provided to 11,000 individuals and 2,700 tenants were connected to a range of City resources to help them remain in their homes.

HPD has launched the Partners in Preservation initiative, which will award $490,000 to the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition and New Settlement Apartments/CASA to develop and co-ordinate anti-displacement strategies.

A Certification of No Harassment program has been launched to require property owners seeking permits to demolish or alter their buildings that they have not harassed tenants.

More than 16,000 housing inspections have been done, resulting in roughly $700,000 in emergency repairs.

Roughly 1,300 new affordable, supportive or senior homes are proposed on half a dozen sites.

An RFP has been issued for the development of affordable senior housing at 97 West 169th Street.

The intersection of Jerome Avenue and the Cross Bronx Expressway has been made safer for pedestrians and reconstruction of the Clifford Place Step Street will wrap up this spring.

Coordination is underway between on construction of an elevator to the 170th Street station and design is advancing for parks and playgrounds.

Construction is well underway on a new Plaza at West 181 Street which was renamed for Capt. Roscoe Brown, Jr., a decorated air force veteran, community leader and former president of Bronx Community College.

Design work is also advancing at Morton Playground, a new 478 seat elementary school at 2355 Morris Avenue as well as a gym for PS 246. A new 572 seat elementary school in Community School District 9 has been sited at 1302 Edward E. Grant Highway and will begin design in 2019.

A dedicated “Jerome Program Manager” has been hired by the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) to provide a central contact point for businesses seeking assistance of all kinds and to help connect people seeking jobs to businesses and construction projects in the corridor.

The SBS Mobile Unit has been conducting workforce recruitment and 20 local businesses have enrolled in the commercial lease assistance program.

“On the one-year anniversary of the passage of the Jerome Neighborhood Rezoning, it is important to reflect on how much we have accomplished and highlight the work that remains to be done,” said Council Member Vanessa Gibson.

“A significant amount of affordable housing has been preserved, brand new parks and schools are in design, and a range of programs to assist tenants, local business owners, and the surrounding community are rolling out. This neighborhood plan is a true testament to what can be accomplished through a partnership between community and government.”

Council Member Fernando Cabrera said, “This progress affirms the collaborative process we used to create a shared vision. One year later, I still believe that our process for the Jerome Avenue Neighborhood Plan is a prototype for all future rezoning projects. We set a high bar and are living up to it.”

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