AOC announces more than $7.5 million in funding for future Bronx renovations and plans

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Congress member and U.S. Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced an allocation of more than $7.5 million for future Bronx plans and improvements on March 12, 2024.
File photo

The Bronx is set to receive several upgrades and improvements in the near future, according to U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who on Tuesday announced millions in funding geared toward improvements aimed to better the borough.

On March 12, Ocasio-Cortez announced more than $12 million in secured funding for several community projects based in the boroughs of the Bronx and Queens, all located within New York’s 14th Congressional District.

The allocated Bronx funds, totaling more than $7.5 million, includes an eligible grant of $1.5 million to the Riverbay Fund to renovate a former movie theater at 2081 Bartow Ave., eventually transforming the space into an enrichment hub for children, adolescents and young adults in Co-op City and throughout the northeast Bronx providing education, recreation, culture, arts and wellness services.

The renovated Bartow Avenue facility will serve as a center for performing arts along with wellness and educational programming, including STEM, financial literacy and college as well as career preparation.

Additionally, GrowNYC is eligible to receive a $1 million grant toward the New York State Regional Food Hub in Hunts Point, which broke ground in 2021. The 60,000-square-foot development would store and distribute produce grown by regional farmers to underserved communities, while adding critical infrastructure to state farmers in expanding their access to the city’s wholesale marketplace and creating new jobs.

Other projects that were eligible to receive funding in Tuesday’s announcement include the revitalization of the Bronx River Houses Playground, as well as the Sotomayor Houses basketball court and the Monroe Houses Playground, both located in Soundview, with $1 million in funding for each plan allocated to the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).

An additional $1 million is eligible for the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) to construct the capital project Westchester Square Plaza, which would make the intersection of Westchester and East Tremont avenues safer for all street users including pedestrians, bikers and motorists and create a new public space with amenities located just south of the elevated 6 train.

Ocasio-Cortez announced three more allocations for Bronx projects, including an additional $500,000 to NYCHA for two new elevators at senior residence Middletown Plaza, which houses nearly 200 seniors, as well as $500,000 in funding for a restroom upgrade in Pelham Bay Library (NYPL), while the Hutchinson River Restoration project is eligible to receive $50,000 to improve shoreline pollution of the Hutchinson River, which runs through the Bronx and the southern part of Westchester County.

All of the projects receiving funding are located within Ocasio-Cortez’s 14th Congressional District, which includes the Bronx neighborhoods of City Island, Country Club, Morris Park, Parkchester, Pelham Bay, Schuylerville, Throggs Neck, along with several neighborhoods in north and central Queens.

“From helping seniors at NYCHA get new elevators, strengthening our shorelines to protect from future storms, increasing accessibility at our public libraries to create spaces for families and youth to gather and address basic safety needs,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “I look forward to making life better for neighborhoods across the Bronx and Queens with the more than $12 million we’ve secured this year.”

The $12 million in funding announced by Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday also included allocations for several projects based in Queens, including a $1.2 grant for MALIKAH to acquire a three-story mixed use property in Astoria to serve as a violence prevention-focused community center for women.

Reach Steven Goodstein at or (718) 260–8326. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes