Week in Rewind: South Bronx undergoes economic revitalization, CB9 elects first Bengali chair in NYC history, and Peninsula housing project enters second phase

Two new developments of the Peninsula project in Hunts Point will bring 359 fully affordable units to the area.
Two new developments of the Peninsula project in Hunts Point will bring 359 fully affordable units to the area.
Photo courtesy WXY Studios

The Week in Rewind spotlights some of the editorial work of the Bronx Times for the week of Nov. 24 – Dec. 1.

South Bronx has undergone economic ‘revitalization,’ 20% increase in business activity: report

The South Bronx’s economy has grown faster than the citywide average from 2011 to 2021 despite the area suffering disproportionately from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report released Tuesday by the state.

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli attributed the South Bronx’s economic resilience to the community, but also recognized more needs to be done on the affordable housing and job market fronts for the area’s “long-term success.”

“The South Bronx was hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic but was resilient because of dedicated and hardworking neighborhood groups and advocates, and the strength of its residents,” DiNapoli said.

According to the comptroller’s report, from 2011 to 2021 the South Bronx saw a 20% increase in business activity — higher than the boroughwide increase of 17.9% and the citywide increase of 18%. Relief funding also helped the South Bronx after 40% of the community’s businesses closed by February 2022 as a result to the pandemic.

Yet, the report also states that while the community lost 6,150 of the jobs it had gained the previous decade due to COVID — representing a 7.7% overall drop — the South Bronx added back 4,679 jobs in 2022. Last year the South Bronx area had 78,456 private sector jobs — according to the report — nearly 33% of all jobs in the borough.

Bronx pols and officials emphasized the South Bronx’s spirit of resilience after the report’s release.

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli presents his findings on the South Bronx's economic growth on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023.
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli presents his findings on the South Bronx’s economic growth over the last decade on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023.Photo courtesy Mary Mueller

CB9 elects Mujumder as board chairperson; first Bengali chair in NYC history

Community Board 9 made history earlier this year in appointing the city’s first-ever community board chairperson of Bengali descent.

Mohammed Mujumder, who was born in Bangladesh, was elected as CB9’s chairperson back in June, running unopposed, making him the first Bengali chairperson in the New York City’s history. He replaces Brandon Ganaishlal, the prior chairperson.

Mujumder, who previously served as CB9’s first vice chair and has been a board member since 2010, said that he hopes to see more residents within CB9 attend general community board meetings so that their voices are heard.

“Most people in our district don’t even know there is a community board,” said the 60-year-old Mujumder. “There’s a very small percentage of people who actually know about it — and one of my goals as the (CB9) chairperson is to increase engagement among the residents in these neighborhoods, while also spreading awareness throughout the community that community boards do exist.”

CB9 includes the neighborhoods of Bronx River, Castle Hill, Clason Point, Harding Park, Parkchester, Soundview and Unionport.

As CB9 chairperson, Mujumder will focus primarily on local issues as well as working with elected officials and standing for the safety and well-being of Bronx residents in his district.

Mohammed Mujumder became the first chairperson of Bengali descent in New York City’s history when he was elected to lead Community Board 9 in the Bronx earlier this year.Photo Steven Goodstein

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