Letter: Community organizations against Throggs Neck upzoning

The Bruckner Boulevard rezoning proposal made its way before the City Council on Sept. 7.
Photo Adrian Childress

To the Editor,

In regards to the Throggs Neck upzoning, our neighborhood is under attack by un-scrupulous outsiders, developers and others with nefarious interests. People who do not live in our neighborhood, but want to change our way of life. It’s all about money.  Let’s take a common sense approach.
The future of our neighborhood is in jeopardy. Every neighborhood organization is against this upzoning. Here is a partial list: The Coalition Against Upzoning; The Waterbury LaSalle Community & Homeowners Association; The Pelham Bay Taxpayers Association; The Throggs Neck Homeowners Association; The Throggs Neck BID; The Spencer Estates Civic Association; The Edgewater Park Civic Association; The Locust Point Civic Association; The Friends of Ferry Point; Assemblyman Michael Benedetto; City Councilmember Marjorie Velázquez; former City Councilmember James Vacca; all of our local churches and Community Board 10.
More than 10,000 residents have signed petitions and more than 300 have given written statements with their signatures. These are all people who live here and know the neighborhood and love the neighborhood the way it is. On the street everyone who learns about the proposed upzoning are all passionately opposed to it. The only people who support it are people who do not live here. Doesn’t this tell you something?
Don’t the residents matter when you consider such a drastic change to our quality of life? The developers don’t care about our community. The Bivonas not only don’t care and don’t live here, they have been sued by their own employees for not paying wages due to them. Even before the upzoning became a public issue people were not shopping in Foodtown. The best thing that could happen is, they would close the store, sell the building and another operator could run a good store without destroying our community, without building a monstrous building above the store.
There are three other supermarkets in our area none of them have had to build above the store to survive. The greedy Bivonas have never run a good store. When they first came into the neighborhood, they wanted to put a pharmacy in the former A&P site — it was Councilman Vacca who convinced them to open a supermarket. The A&P was here since the 1930s, they closed because they moved all their operations out of New York.
The first store the Bivonas opened was Freshway and they went bankrupt in less than a year. After a few months they re-opened as Foodtown.
Now they want to destroy our community with this brain storm of high-rise buildings because they are not good businessmen or good neighbors. I am asking you to call your Councilmember Marjorie Velázquez at (718) 931-1721 or email her district13@council.nyc.gov  Tell her no upzoning.
Andrew Chirico

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