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Mayor’s S. Bronx Vision

On Tuesday, June 17, Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled a comprehensive redevelopment plan for the South Bronx that will specifically target Melrose Commons, the Bronx Civic Center and the Lower Concourse.

Bloomberg made his plans known for the south Bronx during a press conference in front of the Bronx Courthouse at E. 161st and the Grand Concourse, with representatives of many city agencies beside him.

“After years of both public and private underinvestment, the south Bronx is seeing some $3 billion worth of new investments that are creating new housing, open space, retail amenities, mass transit infrastructure, schools and a new Yankee Stadium, all of which is creating thousands of new jobs,” Bloomberg said.

Bob Lieber, deputy mayor for economic planning, announced an expected 16,000 new jobs in the area, also linking the city and private commitments to a growing south Bronx.

All of the plan’s areas will feature rezoning that encourages both housing and commercial space, as well as infrastructure improvements such as public seating, lighting and transportation access.

One particular transit plan, in the Melrose area, will evaluate the feasibility of providing Bus-Rapid Transit service on Webster or Third avenues like the new service. 

In addition, Bloomberg hopes to develop the last remaining city-owned sites to create affordable housing and ground-floor retail space; market Melrose Commons to major retailers to support local businesses; upgrade Roberto Clemente Plaza while reconfiguring the E. 161st Street and Elton Avenue intersection, and pursue funding to develop new parks while upgrading existing facilities. 

Over in the Bronx Civic Center area, targeted streetscape improvements, including new distinctive lighting and street furniture, are planned along E. 161st Street and River Avenue where the city expects an increase in tourists visiting Yankee Stadium.

In addition, the city is looking to extend the BX13 bus service further south on 149th Street and facilitate the planning and development of city-owned sites along River Avenue. 

In the lower Concourse area, plans are in the works to map a new public park along the Harlem River and leverage private development to create continuous public waterfront access.

Also, the city hopes to improve the appearance, ADA accessibility, and structural condition of subway stations at 149th Street and 138th Street/Grand Concourse. 

Also included in the plan are 8,000 housing units in dedicated residential sites as well as mixed-use developments.

The initiative is the result of a two-year interagency outreach effort, including elected officials, local community and business groups, and community boards 1, 3, and 4 to build consensus.

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