Recent 6-story hi-rise application has Pelham Bay concerned

Recent 6-story hi-rise application has Pelham Bay concerned
An artist rendering of 2116 Colonial Avenue.
Photo courtesy of Badaly Architects

While the Bronx in general is welcoming the recent real estate boom, some Bronxites feel otherwise.

Some recent announcements of new high risers in predomiently 1- and 2-family neighborhoods are causing concern. Recent development is threatening the charming character of areas such as Pelham Bay.

Fred Lumaj, previosuly of the Brodsky Organization in Manhattan, recently filed building permits for a six-story residential building at 2116 Colonial Avenue that will replace an existing one-family home, according to YIMBY, an on-line real estate site.

“This is costing a quaint area its aesthetics and much more,” said Michele Torrioni, president of the Pelham Bay Tax Payers Association. “Overdevelopment has been going on around here for some years and we hate it, honestly,” she added.

The building’s elevation design shows a masonry structure with classical motifs lining its first floor.

Two terraces will be attached to floors three through six, decorated with a geometric patterned iron wrought railing.

The 56-foot tall structure will yield 13,900 square feet, with 12,850 square feet for residential use. The 16-unit building, a market-rate rental, will occupy a 37.43-foot by 100-foot parcel.

The parcel directly behind 2116 Colonial Avenue, at 2115 Burr Avenue, is also scheduled for a similar project, eliminating the last private house on that block.

“What we fear is that this will only contribute to overcrowding of not only the area but of schools, not to mention it could be pushing people out of the area, especially in the elderly community,” Torrioni said.

What won’t be included with the Colonial Avenue project is on-site parking, which will contribute to the ongoing lack of parking issue within the Bronx, which many within Community Board 10 have aired their grievances on.

“We are aware that many residents are concerned about the lack of parking that comes from these developments, but this building is ‘as of right,’ meaning that we don’t have much of a say besides making sure that the developers are held to the letter of the law in the process,” said Community Board 10 district manager Matt Cruz.

Torrioni encounted a similar problem with a new office building planned at 3250 Westchester Avenue.

“When these new structures are built, there isn’t much concern showed for parking, and that lack of consideration is disrespectful to the people that have called Pelham Bay their home for countless years,” she said. “Yes, these projects are near the Pelham Bay subway station but a majority of the area’s residents own cars, with no place to put them,” Torrioni added.

Councilman Mark Gjonaj is in total agreement with the community on this issue.

In past years, parts of the area were downzoned to prevent these complexes from being built.

“We must make sure that any development in the neighborhood is consistent with the character of the surrounding area. I’m meeting with local residents and community leaders so that I can effectively advocate for their interests and zoning concerns,” said Gjonaj.

That meeting is planned for Tuesday, September 18.

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