Morrison Plaza in Soundview receives $8.8M reconstruction and expansion

Morrison plaza
City officials unveiled a new public plaza under a canopy of trees following an $8.8 million investment into the Soundview neighborhood.
Photo courtesy NYC Department of Design and Construction

Youth Ministries for Peace & Justice, Inc. (YMPJ) hosted a press conference with the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, NYC Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Thomas Foley and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection. YMPJ and the city agencies were joined by Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, Congressmember Ritchie Torres, Councilmember Amanda Farías and Assemblymember Kenneth Burgos to announce the completion of the Morrison Plaza reconstruction which expands and improves the plaza and reconstructs adjacent Harrod Place.

The plaza increases and improves the quality of public space available to commuters, shoppers and merchants. YMPJ advocated for key amenities such as a water fountain, granite seating, bike racks and lighting. The plaza is located on a thriving commercial corridor and leverages the busy intersection under the Morrison Avenue-Soundview subway station that is adjacent to recently renovated Parque De Los Ninos.

This important intersection is a vital transportation and commercial corridor. It is estimated that 2 million transit users use the corridor every year. YMPJ continues to advocate for the site’s potential for bicycling and other micro-mobility transportation solutions, community Wi-Fi, wayfinding, enhanced maintenance and programming support. Youth, seniors, vendors and merchants will benefit directly from the improvements made to the streetscape.

Beginning in 2023, YMPJ will build off this ribbon cutting to establish a DOT-sponsored kiosk within the plaza and an Open Market along adjacent Harrod Place as part of a seasonal Open Street. This kiosk will offer an opportunity for a local merchant or entrepreneurs to have a brick and-mortar space on the busy commercial corridor. The Open Market will create further opportunities for local merchants and entrepreneurs, featuring capacity for up to 50 stalls for pop-up businesses, community programs, annual murals, a performance stage and more. Both the kiosk and the Open Market have received direct support from Torres and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Food Project.

The newly reconfigured Morrison Plaza improves usable public space.Photo courtesy NYC Department of Design and Construction

Community Benefits

  • Seating Area: Transit riders won’t need to stand in a long line waiting for the bus, they will have an area where they can sit.

  • Learning Space: After school and in the summer months kids and their parents can take books out from the library and read under the shade of the
    trees.

  • Transportation: Increase bike racks and rentals as well as e-scooter access in our community where less than 30% of households own cars

  • Free Wi-Fi: Free internet access (planned for Spring 2023)

Economic Benefits

  • Open Market featuring a Farm Stand: Beginning in Spring 2023, on weekends Harrod Place will feature a fresh and affordable produce market as well as pop-up vending opportunities for existing merchants and new entrepreneurs.

  • Heighten Visibility: Local merchants will be able to create a pop-up outdoor experience beneficial to all. Added foot traffic will help generate further economic gains.

  • Eating Space: People can buy food from local restaurants and enjoy their meals in the plaza.

Increased bike racks and rentals as well as e-scooter access are some of the recent upgrades to Morrison Plaza in Soundview. Photo courtesy NYC Department of Design and Construction

This article was updated on Nov. 15 at 3:21 p.m. to reflect new photos of the reconstruction site. 

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