West Farms may be the future site of thousands of brand new apartments and shops now that a developmental group has purchased a large parcel of land.
Signature Urban Properties, which is led by former Councilman Gifford Miller, recently bought several neglected blocks on West Farms Road and is currently proposing a rezoning in the area to begin a massive neighborhood renovation.
Miller is currently designing a plan to construct 10 high-rise buildings on West Farms Road that will include approximately 1,300 new apartments and stores that according to the New York City Department of City Planning, would be the Bronx’s biggest rezone since the development of Co-op city between 1968 and 1973.
The project, which will also include public plazas filled with trees and grassy areas between the buildings, is estimated to cost nearly $400 million and will take about seven years to complete should the rezoning be approved by city council.
“The neighborhood is in need of new homes for local residents,” Miller said. “It’s no secret that the Bronx has been coming back and we hope that this rezoning is approved so we can begin providing new, stand-out buildings in the borough.”
The land that was purchased by Signature Urban Properties is about 215,000 square feet and is currently zoned for light industry businesses, but currently consisting of mostly vacant land, abandoned factories, an impound lot and few operating businesses such as Fordham Marble on 1931 West Farms Road.
Miller believes that the new buildings will attract residents from other parts of the Bronx, including locals from Crotona Park East, which borders the stretch of land purchased by Signature Urban Properties.
Derrick Lovett, CEO of the Mid-Bronx Desperadoes Community Housing Corporation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the Bronx, believes that the area is in dire need of a project like this.
West Farms Road, which overlooks the Sheridan Expressway and Bronx River Parkway, is often deserted at night and is known to be dangerous at night.
“Right now all that is there is vacant, abandoned buildings,” Lovett said. “The area is pretty dangerous and is a magnet for crime. Miller and his company certainly have a good plan and it would definitely boost the neighborhood’s profile.”
The city council, along with Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and board members of community boards 3 and 6, will begin reviewing the rezoning proposal in a public review next month and the project could be approved as early as December.