The Bronx is Booming

City Planning Bronx Borough Director Carol Samol spoke about the importance of planning in the Bronx, and supporting local neighborhoods through planning at a planning seminar on Jan. 14.
Schneps Media Jason Cohen

The Bronx has come a long way since the 70s when it was the poster child of urban decay.

Today, it is the fastest growing borough in the ‘big apple’ and if it were a city it would be in the top 10 of largest cities in America.

On Tuesday, January 14, the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, held its first event of 2020, ‘The Network for Business Success,’ where City Planning Bronx Borough director Carol Samol spoke about the importance of planning in the Bronx, supporting local neighborhoods and capitalizing on transit investments to improve quality of life and grow housing and jobs in the fastest growing county.

Samol told attendees that the Bronx is back to its all-time population high of 1,472,000 residents achieved in the early 1970s. Furthermore, with a projected growth rate of 14 percent, the Bronx is will outpace the city’s growth rate of 9.5 percent.

The borough is projected to house 1,579,000 residents by 2040.

“More people are being born in the Bronx than are dying, that’s an important fact,” Samol said.

The Bronx grew by 86,000 people, which accounts for nearly 20 percent of New York City’s growth and 11% of the region’s growth in 2019.

Diversity is also a key to the borough’s growth. More than half of the Bronx is Latino or Hispanic, 28 percent is black, and the remainder is white, Asian and Native American.

In fact, 544,000 current Bronxites have emigrated from other countries, accounting for more than one third of the Bronx’s population.

Job growth is also on the rise. The primary drivers of job growth are health care and social assistance, retail trade, accommodation and food services, and educational services arts, entertainment and recreation and professional and technical services.

Even with increased job security, many people are still struggling financially, Samol said. The Bronx median income is $37,000, which is between 40 to 50 percent of the Area Median Income.

“Our median income still needs to increase, it is still suffering,” she said.

She also delved into future projects slated for the borough. She stressed how excited people are about the new regional rail service coming to East Bronx for first time in over 100 years, in 2023.

The new MetroNorth rail line will include new stations at Co-op City, Morris Park, Parkchester/Van Nest and Hunts Point and offer access to Penn Station, Westchester County and Connecticut.

This will dramatically improve commute times and connections for Bronx residents and new regional access for New Yorkers.

Furthermore, it will provide up to 90 minutes in time savings and offer access to more job opportunities.

Samol stressed how this new line will benefit people in and out of the work place.

Lisa Sorin, president of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce called the seminar incredible.

“The attendees were stunned at the level of success that the Bronx has achieved today,” she said.

“They now have a better understanding of the borough’s upcoming projects, job growth, and potential for business opportunities. Carol did an amazing job of bringing clarity to the growth of our borough and plans that support that growth,” Sorin concluded.

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