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    Default Bronx Development

    Last edited by NoyokA; August 10th, 2005 at 01:37 PM. Reason: To clarify and organize posts related to Bronx development.

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    With the other boroughs flurishing with development, the Bronx needs to catch up. So this is relative good news for the borough. :P

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    That last post was pretty offensive, ILUVNYC. What do you know about the Bronx, or even ghettos, for that matter?

    Building new office and retail space is fine in theory, but what that article neglects to mention is that nearly all of the new office space in Port Morris is vacant. Not to mention that the antiques district is hardly new: the area was declared a historic district in 1980 and has housed the same shops for over a decade.

    Someone needs to do their fact-checking.

    Last edited by Stern on Wed Oct 13, 2004; agreed.

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    Development spurt bridges the gaps on Bruckner Blvd.
    Cheap, accessible area becomes chic



    By Tommy Fernandez
    July 12, 2004

    When stockbroker Sherman McCoy was waylaid along Bruckner Boulevard in the novel The Bonfire of the Vanities, all he encountered was a wasteland filled with thugs.

    If the Tom Wolfe character were to stop on the boulevard now, he'd be able to buy a sofa or a 6-foot-tall Buddha. Perhaps he'd stop by Thrift World Antiques to pick up some 1930s crockery signed by the artist. "Some would call the pots jardineres," says Mary Brimage, who owns the store at 122 Bruckner.


    Yuppie love

    After about a decade of steady gentrification, developers are revving up for a flood of McCoys by this winter as the city completes its two-year renovation of the Third Avenue Bridge. Stores, restaurants and upscale apartments are sprouting to serve the yuppies discovering the allure of the southern tip of the Bronx.

    "There is quite a bit going on in this area now," says Neil Pariser, senior vice president of the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp. "It has become quite a haven for artists and other pioneering professionals."

    The projects catering to them are ambitious. At 112 Lincoln Ave., the 170,000-square-foot former clock tower will have 80 live/work lofts ready to rent next month. The developer, Carnegie Management, will have another 125 ready by spring.

    Across the street, a 100,000-square-foot piano factory at 26 Bruckner was recently transformed into a high-tech office building with 4,000 square feet of retail space. The developer, Bradford N. Swett Management, is finishing a building at 14 Bruckner that will provide 40,000 square feet of commercial space, says principal Christopher Doyle.

    "It's far easier, and cheaper, for any business to service the northern tip of Manhattan from here than probably anywhere else," says Mr. Doyle, whose firm owns eight properties along the boulevard.

    The first enterprises to settle in the neighborhood during the late 1980s were adventurous antique dealers, driven out of Manhattan by high rents. They were followed by a steady stream of artists yearning for big places in which they could both live and create. When the city rezoned the area for mixed use five years ago, even more businesses were able to enter this burgeoning SoHo of the South Bronx.

    It doesn't hurt that the boulevard enjoys traffic levels of more than 50,000 cars a day, according to Mr. Pariser. The bridge renovation project has closed off traffic in one or both directions along the boulevard for much of the past two years, however, and businesses had to weather some slow seasons.

    Yvette Hernández, manager of Famous Deli Grocery at 40C Bruckner, says that shutdowns made it hard for regulars to reach her store. "Coming to us and going back would take them 45 minutes-traffic would just be so horrible."

    The temporary traffic problems didn't dampen developers' enthusiasm for the area, though. Carnegie Management principal Isaac Jacobs says that professionals are streaming onto Bruckner because of escalating residential rents elsewhere.

    "Manhattan is priced out; so is Williamsburg, Brooklyn," he says. "Artists and people who work in midtown and uptown still want someplace close."

    Neighborhood rents remain comparatively cheap, but the bargains are quickly disappearing. The lofts at Carnegie's clock tower range from $975 to $1,800 a month.


    Rents rising

    Commercial rents at area buildings range from $10 to $18 per square foot. These are a far cry from the average of $6 per square foot prevalent just a few years ago. The hikes have been high enough to drive away some businesses, like New York Princess Knitwear Inc.

    Throughout the area, locations are being gobbled up so quickly that Mr. Pariser's group is having a hard time finding cheap vacant space to develop as parking for the area. "We don't have the luxury of vacant lots on Bruckner anymore," he explains. "It's a landlord's market now."


    Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

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    Whats going on with that new bridge up in the Bronx?

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    Pathmark Grocery Store Opens In New Horizons Retail Center In The Bronx


    JULY 14TH, 2004

    New Yorkers will finally be able to do some shopping at a new Pathmark in The Bronx and locals say it's long overdue.

    The grocery store opens Friday inside the New Horizons Retail Center in the Crotona Park neighborhood.

    Because of construction problems and delays, the shopping center is millions of dollars over budget and two years behind its original opening date, but developers say the wait will be will worth it.


    NY1's Dean Meminger has more from the Crotona Park section of the Bronx.

    It's finally time to do some shopping at a new Pathmark in the Bronx, and it's a long time overdue. The store opens this week inside the New Horizons Retail Center, developed by a local community group.

    “Typically, this size shopping mall in an urban area has one or two anchor stores and up to 10 stores. This mall has 20 stores,” says Cicero Wilson of the Mid-Bronx Desperadoes.

    The size of the mall caused big headaches for the developers. Because of construction problems and delays, the mall's price tag is at least $10 million over the initial budget of $30 million, and the opening is two years behind schedule.

    When NY1 visited the site last summer, there were plenty of dirt mounds and unfinished stores, and it was a big target for graffiti artists.

    But in spite of the problems, funders stayed on board.

    “We had to keep going. We had 20 stores that kept their leases,” says Denise Scott of the Local Initiative Support Corporation. “Pathmark actually added $1 million to the investment site.”

    Bringing Pathmark and other big business into this Bronx neighborhood is not only about making money for businesses, it's also about helping local residents with jobs. The leases the stores sign state they must hire local residents.

    “This is like my first real job,” says Pathmark employee Omari Lowely. “Pathmark gave me a chance to gain experience.”

    Along with Pathmark, Petland, Popeye's Chicken and Washington Mutual Bank are just some of the tenants opening.

    “It is absolutely great for me. I live 15 minutes from this community,” says Bethzaida Hernandez, who works at Washington Mutual.

    The New Horizons Center is located on East 176th Street off Boston Road.


    Copyright © 2004 NY1 News.

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    1011 Washington Avenue

    http://www.lmequity.com/portfolio/new.php?pid=39



    "Construction will begin on this 136 unit apartment building, located on Washington Avenue between 164th and 165th Street, in July 2004. This project is being financed through HDC's new LAMP program and will include 8,000 square feet of retail space."

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    I wonder why they made the sky so dark in that render? Its not a bad looking building.

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    NYC Housing Authority Takes 62,000 SF at Hutchinson Metro



    By Barbara Jarvie
    Last updated: January 13, 2005 07:57am

    BRONX, NY-After a four-year search, the New York City Housing Authority signed a 20-year lease for 62,000 sf at the Hutchinson Metro Center here. This marks a consolidation of employees from three Bronx locations to a single floor.

    Hutchinson was originally set on 18.5 acres, the center currently has 460,000 sf of class A office space. Approximately 115,000 sf of space remains available in the first building. Owner Simone Development Cos. has purchased an additional 24.5 acres on site, creating an as-of-right opportunity for an additional 640,000 sf of office space. The $60-million first phase is expected to generate between 2,500 and 3,000 new jobs for the borough.

    Cushman & Wakefield brokerage professionals Tara Stacom, executive vice president, Matthew Astrachan, executive director, and Shawna Menifee, associate director, arranged the transaction. “The opportunity that the Hutchinson Metro Center presents really didn't exist in the Bronx previously,” says Stacom. Asking rents in the complex are in the low $30s per sf.

    NYCHA joins Mercy College, which recently opened its new 130,000-sf Bronx campus at the site and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, which consolidated its Bronx offices to 50,000 sf. The Metro Center parcel, formerly the Bronx Psychiatric Center site, is located directly off the Hutchinson River Parkway in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx. The land was purchased in 2001 from the state through the Empire State Development Corp. by Hutch Realty Partners LLC. It is the first class A office complex to be built in the Bronx in more than a decade.


    © 2005 by GlobeSt.com, LLC.

  10. #10

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    How is the South Bronx progressing in it's comeback? What's going on with this "Gateway Center" going up at the Market? And is the Bronx booming with new development like the other boroughs?

  11. #11

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    Acadia Doubles Retail Redevelopment



    Tuesday, March 1, 2005
    By Barbara Jarvie

    GlobeSt.com

    BRONX, NY-In a conference call, White Plains-based Acadia Realty Trust said costs for a redevelopment here at 400 East Fordham Rd. have blossomed to between $60 million and $70 million, instead of the $35 million to $40 million originally estimated for the effort, which is part of the firm’s urban infill concentration. The company is also in negotiations for two additional sites in the city.

    "There is strong tenant demand," said Kenneth F. Bernstein, Acadia’s president and CEO. "National retailers are underrepresented here." The footprint will be larger and the scope expanded. The company is in negotiations for two more redevelopment projects, one in Northern Manhattan and the other in Brooklyn.

    "We’re building a nice pipeline for future growth," Bernstein continued. These projects are expected cost approximately $100 million, as well. Its second project is a $30-million to $35-million effort in Pelham Manor. The company entered into a 95-year ground lease for a 16-acre site which will be redeveloped into a multi-anchor community retail center.

    The site at 400 East Fordham Rd. is currently home to a Sears, whose lease expires in 2007. Sears has been in the site near Fordham University for 40 years. According to New York City statistics, Fordham Road is the strongest retail area in the borough and is the third largest retail corridor in all of New York City, with over 650,000 people in a two-mile radius and annual retail sales in excess of $500 million.

    Acadia sees the potential for retailers not already established in the Bronx such as Target, Kohl’s, Office Max, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy and Wal-Mart. "The Fordham Road redevelopment is the first of what we expect will be several New York urban/infill redevelopment projects that we plan to execute with P/A Associates," Bernstein added.

    Acadia acquired the site here through Acadia Strategic Opportunity Fund II LLC. The fund II, which has $300 million of committed discretionary capital, was established to acquire up to $900 million of real estate assets on a leveraged basis as well as invest in Acadia's Retailer Controlled Property Venture with the Klaff Organization. Upon completion of the redevelopment, it is anticipated the project will earn an unleveraged yield in excess of 10%.

    During the third quarter, Acadia completed its first investment through the RCP venture. Approximately $23.2 million was invested by Funds I and II into an affiliate of Lubert-Adler/Klaff, which is part of the investment consortium, along with Sun Capital Partners, Inc. and Cerberus Capital Management LP that acquired the 257 store Mervyn's department store chain from the Target Corp. for $1.2 billion.

    On a year-over-year basis, Acadia increased its portfolio occupancy by 470 basis points. Year-end 2004 occupancy was 92.3% compared to 87.6% at year-end 2003 and 86.3% for 2002. Same store net operating income for the retail portfolio increased 3.9% for annual 2004 over 2003. During 2004, Acadia executed new and renewal leases totaling 640,000 sf, or 9% of the retail portfolio at an average increase of 9% over the previous base rents on a cash basis.

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    March 6, 2005

    LIVING IN

    The Sound of Construction

    By NANCY BETH JACKSON


    Hundreds of apartments and town houses have been built in Melrose Commons. New buildings, above, under construction on East 159th Street.

    HEN Paul Newman starred as John Murphy, a police officer, in "Fort Apache, the Bronx" in 1981, he patrolled a burned-out wasteland, a hostile landscape inhabited by junkies, winos, pimps, hookers, cop killers and killer cops.

    Today, the tourists who come to see where the movie was filmed find a far different neighborhood. In the last five years, urban decay has been replaced by new houses and apartments.

    Melrose Commons, a 35-block area in the South Bronx, still has plenty of vacant lots, but the mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhood is abuzz with construction. Retail space, until recently limited to a handful of mom-and-pop shops, rented for $7 to $11 a square foot a year in the mid-1990's. A 1,300-square-foot C-Town supermarket in a 124-unit moderate-income rental building opening late next summer will pay $19.90.

    According to the 2000 census, nearly 7,000 people lived in Melrose as the new housing came out of the ground. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development anticipates that about 3,000 housing units will have been added by the time Melrose Commons is fully developed at the end of the decade. New construction could add around 10,000 residents to the neighborhood, estimated Petr Stand, a principal at Magnusson Architecture and Planning who has been involved in the development for 13 years.

    The change was accomplished through the efforts of a local neighborhood group, Nos Quedamos/We Stay, a coalition of residents and shopkeepers who refused to be bulldozed by an urban renewal plan with no place for them.

    The founder and executive director of the group, Yolanda Garcia, died last month. Her daughter, Yolanda Gonzalez, has been named executive director and will continue what her mother started 13 years ago.

    In an interview not long before she suffered a fatal heart attack at age 53 in her modest storefront office, Ms. Garcia recalled how the neighborhood rebirth began.

    Ms. Garcia, whose family owned a carpet store on Third Avenue, was among the mostly Hispanics and African-Americans who stuck it out while the South Bronx burned, only to learn by chance in 1992 that the city planned to displace them to make room for 2,600 middle-income residential units. Without being consulted in the nine years the plan was under study, 78 homeowners, 400 tenants and 80 businesses were to be priced out of their own neighborhood where the median income was under $12,000.

    "You can't fight City Hall," her brother German, now deceased, told her then.

    "Yes, we can," she replied.

    The mobilization that followed - at one point meetings were held 188 times in six months and meetings are still scheduled weekly - taught people to make themselves heard and how to navigate the system. In the end, the city's plan was scrapped, replaced by a development vision that recognized environmental and health issues, good design and community involvement.

    The real estate in question had a large concentration of city-owned property about equidistant from Midtown Manhattan and suburbs in Westchester, Connecticut, Long Island and New Jersey and good transportation by bus, train, express subways and roads. Yankee Stadium and the Bronx Courthouse are to the west. An industrial zone and Metro-North's Melrose station are on the northern edge. Third Avenue leads south to the Hub, the district's historic commercial center at 149th Street.

    Melrose began as a German village in the 1850's. Population took off with the Third Avenue elevated train. By the 1920's the Hub bustled with shops, movie theaters and burlesque houses filled with Italian, Russian-Jewish and Irish immigrants as well as Germans. Before the white flight to the suburbs in the 1960's, Melrose Avenue was known as "the Broadway of the Bronx" with flower shops, delicatessens, funeral homes and at least two German bakeries.

    By 1994, a German Methodist church, built in 1878, had succumbed to urban blight. Although stained-glass windows with memorials in German survived, the church organ had been cannibalized and the sky could be seen through the roof when the Rev. Eddie Lopez Jr. merged three small Spanish-speaking Methodist congregations. Inspired one Easter morning, he suggested the church be renamed Silesia la Resurreccion, reinaugurated after a half-million-dollar renovation.

    The neighborhood's resurrection is well under way, too, beginning with Plaza de Los Angeles, 35 three-family town houses, which sold out five years ago. First-time homeowners with annual incomes of $32,000 to $70,000 paid at an average of $320,000 with government subsidies to encourage long-term ownership. La Puerta de Vitalidad, the first affordable-housing rental building, soon followed. Other rental apartments, including a senior residence, have been added.

    Two additional rounds of subsidized town houses have been completed with more ownership projects to come. Under the city's New Foundations program, which encourages home ownership by transferring public lots to private ownership after a competitive process, private developers have begun building affordable housing on private land. Poko Partnerships, a real estate developer from Port Chester, N.Y., recently sold 10 town houses still under construction on Courtlandt Avenue. The average price of the subsidized three-family homes was $480,000.

    The best source of housing availability is the Department of Housing Preservation and Development's Affordable Housing Hotline at 311 and at the Web site www.nyc.gov/hpd. The site notes that a 110-unit building, under construction on Melrose Avenue, is accepting applicants for rentals, from $542 for a one-bedroom to $920 for a three-bedroom. Tenants will be chosen by lottery.

    Robert Roman, who runs a small construction company, was sweeping the sidewalk one recent winter morning in front of the town house he and his wife, Diana, bought in 2003 after participating in a lottery. The block of town houses replaced a community garden, but Mr. Roman, who began renting in the neighborhood in 1987, thought it a more than fair exchange. A first-time homeowner, he is also a first-time landlord.

    The new housing will mean a better community, he said. "We will pay more taxes and have more police protection," he said. Subsidy provisions prevent him and other town house owners from selling for at least five years and offer incentives for staying even longer, but he doesn't mind the restrictions. "I have no plans to move anytime soon," Mr. Roman said.

    Ms. Garcia wanted more than roofs over people's heads. Mr. Stand of Magnusson Architecture recalls that she pushed good design to encourage people to identify with their buildings and insisted that owner-occupied town houses and rental apartments for the previously homeless share the same block. She encouraged everyone in the neighborhood to keep an eye out to make sure that construction was carried out as promised.

    Environmental issues were addressed as Nos Quedamos explored reclaiming rainwater to wash down sidewalks or water landscaping. It was the local sponsor for New York State's first "green" affordable housing development, 30 three-family town houses called Sunflower Way I, completed in 2002.

    Designed by Danois Architects, they sold for an average of $289,000 to buyers, also chosen by lottery, earning $41,258 to $75,000. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development recognized the project for excellence last year after buildings operated at or below energy use that had been predicted before construction. Sunflower II, completed in late 2003, added 41 town houses.

    Because her son, Ismail Gonzalez, had died at age 25 from asthma, which is more common in the South Bronx than in most other New York neighborhoods, Yolanda Garcia was committed to building healthier buildings. She encouraged designs that impede the growth of mold.

    Nos Quedamos promotes landscaping and small neighborhood parks, but an ongoing dispute in the community is the future of nearly two dozen pocketsize community gardens established when the neighborhood was in decay. Several gardens have been replaced by affordable housing.

    After housing, education is the most important issue in the neighborhood. Mr. Roman, the construction company owner, wants "to do a little better" for his daughters Rose, 12, and Michelli, 5, who attend Public School 29, a few blocks down Courtlandt, but he thinks they are getting "a not bad education."

    Built in 1962 as an elementary school, Public School 29 now is pre-kindergarten though sixth grade with seventh and eighth scheduled to be added by 2007. The school recently was removed from the state's list of schools in need of improvement, but last year only 31 percent of the students met or exceeded the English Language Arts test standards and about 42 percent met math standards. Rhonda Ross Kendrick, an actress and the daughter of the singer Diana Ross, has helped with an after-school drama program, but Insideschools.org, an independent Web guide to New York City public schools, reports that "academic achievement has a way to go."

    South Bronx High, which had one of the worst reputations in the city, was replaced three years ago by the South Bronx Educational Campus, made up of three smaller schools: Mott Haven Village Prep, New Explorers and the Academy for Careers in Sports.

    While streets are not crime free, local precincts reported a 65 to 70 percent drop in crime in the last 12 years.

    One of Ms. Garcia's unrealized dreams was a town center around the 42nd Precinct station house in the northeast corner of Melrose Common that would include new schools, a green market and a pedestrian mall. Although that hasn't happened yet, Boricua College has proposed a campus there.Those who own businesses are optimistic about the changes under way. Paulo Delconte, 67, who immigrated to Melrose from Trieste, Italy, as a teenager, was among the shopkeepers who stayed, keeping his convenience store at the corner of 157th and Melrose Avenue open even in the worst of times.

    "The housing is going to come back," he said. "It's going to be good for me, good for everyone." He plans to add a delicatessen with his favorite recipes for eggplant, veal and meatballs.



    Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

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    Is there heat in the house market of the Bronx? What's going on in the more suburban areas to the north and east? Also, any news about the Gateway Ceter at the market?
    Last edited by alex ballard; March 6th, 2005 at 06:33 PM.

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    HOME DEPOT TO BUILD BRONX WAREHOUSE
    http://www.cityfeet.com/News/NewsArt...Path=&Id=11131

    By Lois Weiss
    Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - Home Depot has picked a spot on E. 132nd St. in the Bronx for a new warehouse and distribution project and is seeking city and state benefits.
    Home Depot has picked a spot on E. 132nd St. in the Bronx for a new warehouse and distribution project and is seeking city and state benefits. The project is slated for the Harlem Yards area that is owned by the State of New York.

    -------------------------------

    March 09, 2005
    Home Depot seeks $36M for Bronx facility
    by Wendy Blake
    http://www.crainsny.com/news.cms?id=10122

    Home Depot is seeking about $36 million in tax-exempt bond financing to help it build a warehouse, distribution and fulfillment center in the Port Morris section of the Bronx.

    According to sources familiar with the situation, Home Depot is eyeing a parcel of land at East 132nd Street in Port Morris, which is zoned for industrial development. A public hearing will be held April 7 on its proposal. The city’s Industrial Development Agency issues triple-tax-exempt bonds which are in turn privately underwritten, enabling companies to get lower-cost financing for projects.

    Critics of big-box retailers are gearing up for a fight. Bettina Damiani, project director of advocacy group Good Jobs New York, says her organization is looking into whether Home Depot would be eligible for other types of incentives, including Empowerment Zone and Empire Zone benefits.

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    Globe Street:

    City Adds $27M for Hunts Point Economic Development
    By Barbara Jarvie
    Last updated: March 8, 2005 07:37am

    HUNTS POINT, NY-To spur business development here, the city has committed an initial investment of $27 million to implement the Hunts Point Vision Plan. The city has already invested $110 million at the Hunts Point Fish and Produce Markets. The goals of the Hunts Point Vision Plan includes developing new waterfront parks, improving traffic safety, upgrading street lighting, repaving streets and improving the rail freight lines serving the area.

    “It’s also true that this part of the city can be doing better,” says Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “This new vision of Hunts Point will attract and grow businesses, put people to work and make the community a more vibrant place to live.” The Hunts Point Peninsula has an area of approximately 690 acres, with almost half made up of the 329-acre Food Distribution Center. Much of the New York region is fed by the center, which has more than 115 wholesalers that generate revenue of more than $3 billion a year. There are a number of new developments in the center including the opening of the $85-million Fulton Fish Market this spring and the already developed $25-million Produce Market.

    The Department of City Planning will rezone the area to encourage the growth and expansion of the food-related industry. The rezoning is also intended to protect the adjacent residential neighborhood, while discouraging the expansion of waste-related uses in sensitive areas.

    Dovetailing with the Hunts Point initiative is the Related Cos. plans for the 26-acre Gateway Center near Yankee Stadium between East 149th Street, River Avenue and the Harlem River. Related is proposing a $330-million effort that features approximately a one-million-sf mixture of big box, specialty and smaller retail in five new buildings, parking space for about 3,000 cars and a one-acre public park with an esplanade. Construction will take about two years, and the entire retail center is expected to open in 2008. The city will grant Related a 49-year lease for the property, with options to extend to 99 years. The project will create more than 2,400 construction jobs and about 2,100 permanent jobs and generate approximately $21 million in annual tax revenue for the city, according to Related.

    Over the past year, city officials worked with the Hunts Point Task Force to develop the 20-year vision plan to define a coordinated vision for neighborhood revitalization. Preliminary recommendations covered everything from transportation, waterfront, workforce, and land use policy. The task force also concentrated on identifying short-term action items.

    Daily News:

    Hope in Bloom in Hunts Point

    BY MICHAEL SAUL and BILL EGBERT

    Mayor Bloomberg unveiled an ambitious Hunts Point Vision Plan yesterday, putting his money where his vision is.

    "Our administration is committing more than $27 million in capital funds to carry out the vision that the Hunts Point task force developed," the mayor said at the opening of the new Hunts Point Works job center.

    The expected funding for the Hunts Point Vision Plan will go toward traffic-safety improvements, zoning changes and waterfront development, as well as a major workforce development effort, officials said.

    "Hunts Point could be doing much better," said Bloomberg. "Unemployment here is 24%, the highest of any community in the city."

    Kellie Terri-Sepulveda, executive director of The Point Community Development Corp., praised the new job center, but said that diversifying the area's industrial economy would boost the area's employment and quality of life.

    "We definitely need to train workers," she said, "but we also need to attract new types of businesses - amenities like restaurants, bookstores and music stores."

    Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, a former city planner and the driving force behind establishing the task force, agreed.

    "Hunts Point's potential has long been dismissed because it was regarded as a heavily industrialized, limited-use area," Carrión said.

    "The revitalization plan that we have created has the vision to incorporate all of the elements of sound economic development," he said, "including infrastructure improvements, optimizing land use, developing workforce opportunities and protecting the environment."

    Many of the ideas put forward by the plan are not new, but the plan brings the mayor's stamp of approval, along with funding and city agency participation.

    Matthew D'Arrigo, co-president of the Hunts Point Produce Co-op, believes the mayor's personal involvement made the difference.

    "I remember when the mayor came up here two years ago," said D'Arrigo. "Very soon after that visit, we started getting a lot more communication from the city. I saw a dozen EDC [Economic Development Corp.] people coming up here repeatedly since then."

    The vision plan includes many items on the Produce Co-op's wish list - in particular, expanded rail links and added refrigerated warehouse space.

    Both improvements will serve a dual purpose, D'Arrigo noted, not only saving his co-operators money, but also reducing the impact of truck traffic on local residents.

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