Jerome Ave. rezone plan reaches Council

A map of the Jerome Avenue proposed rezoning.
Courtesy of NYC Planning

The proposed rezoning for Jerome Avenue has reached the New York City Council. This follows the NYC Department of City Planning’s approval of the de Blasio administration’s plan.

If approved it would influence 95-blocks of housing decisions along Jerome Avenue from McClellan Avenue to East 184th Street, including several intersecting east-west commercial corridors. The corridor of gritty auto repair shops and warehouses is expected to slowly vanish as new housing opportunities engulf the area.

“This vote is a major victory after years of community planning, bringing together thousands of residents, business owners, community groups, community boards 4,5 and 7 and elected officials to develop a shared vision of the future of this neighborhood, in which all residents are served,” said Councilman Fernando Cabreara.

The rezoning is expected to result in a net increase of 3,800 housing units, 160,000 square feet of community facility space and 58,000 square feet of commercial space.

According to the mayor’s office, of the area’s approximately 4,600 total housing units, about a quarter of them (1,150) would be permanently affordable through Mandatory Inclusionary Housing.

The mayor’s office also anticipates 40 percent of the new housing development will be locked in as permanently affordable, when MIH and city financing programs are fully implemented.

Beyond housing subsidies, the city is committing $189 million for parks and other public realm improvements.

“I am proud of the work we’ve accomplished through the Jerome Neighborhood process and look forward to witnessing the Jerome Corridor flourish in the years ahead.” Said Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson.

According to the mayor, other major investments that are earmarked for the zone include: two state-of-the-art schools in District 9 and 10; approximately $56 million in park improvements; community assets and public safety improvements; improved access and an addition to the Davidson Community Center; improved public safety through the installation of ARGUS cameras through-out the Jerome Corridor; transportation upgrades achieved through major commercial corridor improvements that include new lighting, crosswalks, benches, wayfinding, ADA upgrades, repaving, and other Vision Zero Upgrades; Public Realm Improvements upgrades, ‘Under the El’ with new bus bulbs, sidewalks, public space access among other improvements; investments to increase mobility, open up new public space under the elevated tracks, and strengthen connections to local retail; dedicated SBS programming; compliance assistance and business grants of $20,000 for auto and other industrial businesses on the Jerome Avenue corridor; and a dedicated training program for auto and other workers in the area.

“This is something we voted in favor of,” said Community Board 5 chairman, Dr. Bola Omotosho.

He explained that his district seeks enhancement of its schools as well as the improvement of its community center as well.

CB 5 also seeks more funding in addition to implementing ways to track progression of the rezoning itself.

“It is a work in progress, we are also looking for more commitment from the city,” Omotosho added.

“The commitments secured in this plan are a direct result of input from our passionate community, and I remain thankful to the many advocates, stakeholders, government partners, and colleagues who worked with Council Member Cabrera and I to arrive the best possible plan for our community’s future,” said Gibson.

“Throughout this process, I affirmed my commitment to this community, recognizing the tremendous needs and challenges that we face. The Jerome Avenue Rezoning serves as a primer for all future rezoning projects, setting high standards for collaboration and community input. I’m proud of the work we have done to build a bright future for the west Bronx,” said Cabrera.

The full City Council vote will be on Wednesday, March 21.

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