The efforts to revitalize and improve Hunts Point continued last week when it was announced the Pratt Center will facilitate engagement to guide future investments in the neighborhood.
On Friday, February 7, NYC Economic Development Corporation selected a team led by the Pratt Center for Community Development to help to update the 2004 Hunts Point Vision Plan.
This will build on the success of the original vision plan, which led to city investments in new waterfront parks, safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists, hundreds of new jobs and workforce opportunities and improved air quality through reduced pollution.
During the next 18 months, EDC and city agencies, in partnership with Councilman Rafael Salamanca and Pratt Center, will work with the Hunts Points community to identify ways to bring economic opportunity and new amenities to the neighborhood.
Starting this spring, EDC and Pratt Center will host a series of public workshops and meetings to gather input and feedback to address community needs and priorities.
“We’re excited to be partnering with the city and the community to update the Hunts Point Vision Plan,” said Elena Conte, deputy director for the Pratt Center for Community Development.
The Pratt Center, which has worked in the south Bronx for over 30 years, is teaming with Barretto Bay Strategies, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, Mainland Media, and the Hunts Point & Longwood Community Coalition, a group of community-based organizations focused on improving the lives of people in the south Bronx.
Beyond the recommendations outlined in the 2004 Vision Plan, EDC and city agencies are advancing a number of important projects in Hunts Point:
•Redevelopment of the Spofford Juvenile Detention Center into The Peninsula, a mixed-use campus with over 700 affordable homes, public open space, commercial and community facility space, and industrial jobs;
•Planning for a new Hunts Point Metro-North Railroad station that will connect local residents via public transit to jobs and destinations in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley, and Connecticut
•Committing $67 million to upgrade the Hunts Point Wastewater Treatment Plant to improve air quality and energy efficiency;
•Protecting New York City’s food supply by providing back-up power to critical facilities in the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center through a tri-generation microgrid;
•Enhancing social resiliency by implementing solar energy and storage at two neighborhood schools, which can serve as community gathering spaces during emergencies;
•Planning for a new marine barge terminal to reduce truck travel and create jobs for Bronx residents – an initiative of the city’s Freight NYC plan for strategic investments in this critical sector of the economy
Councilman Salamanca said he is glad all of the groups are working together with one purpose.
“While much has been accomplished, it is important to revisit the objectives of the Vision Plan and build on it as we enter a new decade,” Salamanca said.