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Jerome Ave. rezoning to enable taller buildings, more residential housing

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The proposed rezoning of a long corridor of Jerome Avenue will enable larger, taller buildings and more market rate and affordable housing units, according to a report just released by the NYC Planning Department.

The report, released Wednesday, August 31, stated a public scoping meeting is scheduled for September 29 at 4 p.m. at Bronx Community College’s Gould Memorial Library Auditorium.

The proposed changes will rezone approximately 73 blocks, primarily along Jerome Avenue in community boards four, five and seven.

The rezoning would impact parts of the Highbridge, Mount Eden, Concourse, Mount Hope, University Heights and Morris Heights neighborhoods to create a Special Jerome Avenue District from E.165th Street north to 184th Street.

The proposal includes portions of Edward L. Grant Highway, East 170th Street, Mount Eden Avenue, Tremont Avenue, Burnside Avenue and East 183rd Street.

The zoning change from manufacturing to residential is expected to result in a net increase of approximately 3,250 residential units, 72,273 square feet of community facility space, 35,575 square feet of commercial/retail space, while eliminating 47,795 square feet of industrial space and 98,002 square feet of auto-related uses, according to the report.

The city’s mandatory inclusionary housing policy would require developers to set aside 25 percent of the residential floor area for affordable housing units for residents with incomes averaging 60 percent of the area median income, which would create than 800 new affordable units in the area.

In CB 4, where roughly half of the rezoning would take place, district manager Paul Philps said he been following the planning process over the past two years.

He said that while nothing was final yet, he hoped the rezoning and related plans would address the area’s housing needs and provide a significant investment in infrastructure, particularly new school construction and transportation improvements.

“We hope the land use and zoning changes will significantly improve the quality of life in this district,” Philp said.

Calls to CB 5 for comment were not returned by press time. CB 7 district manager Andrew Sandler declined to comment on the proposal.

Other redevelopment plans in the south Bronx have been met with mixed response in recent months, with plans for luxury housing in the Port Morris area stirring fears in some residents of gentrification like that seen in Brooklyn over the past two decades.

Senior Policy Fellow of NYU’s Furman Center For Real Estate and Public Policy Mark Willis said that while he did not want to speculate about what impact the Jerome Avenue redevelopment would have other than what the city had projected, he said housing would continue to be in high demand as the city’s population continued to swell.

“There is a lot of demand for housing, across all boroughs and all income levels,” Willis said.

The entire plan can be found on the Department of Planning section of the city’s website, www.nyc.gov.

Reach Reporter Arthur Cusano at (718) 260-4591. E-mail him at acusano@cnglocal.com.

Posted 12:00 am, September 10, 2016
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