Via Verde 2.0? Bloomberg Seeks Developer For Last City-Owned Lots in the Bronx

East
Thursday, April 4, 2013
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The Site of the Bronxchester Project located at Bergen Street, Brook Avenue and East 149th Street

The Site of the Bronxchester Project at Bergen Street, Brook Avenue and East 149th Street. (Courtesy Bing Maps)

With his time in office coming to a close, Mayor Bloomberg is moving swiftly ahead with his administration’s affordable housing plan, and calling on developers to submit proposals to build on the last sizable stretch of vacant city-owned land in the Melrose and HUB area of the South Bronx. The NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) is overseeing the Bronxchester Project, and yesterday announced a Request for Proposal (RFP) to develop two parcels into affordable housing and mixed-use space.

In the last decade, a wave of new affordable housing developments have taken root in Melrose, a neighborhood destroyed by the arson epidemic in the 1970s and then essentially deserted in the 1980s.

“Not long ago it was a rarity to see new affordable homes being constructed in a neighborhood littered with abandoned buildings and rubble strewn lots. What we now see are thousands of new affordable homes and apartments that have laid a foundation for stability and growth in this community; today this is the new normal,” said HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua in a statement.

Bronxchester Project Parcels of Land (Courtesy of NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development)

Bronxchester Project Parcels of Land (Courtesy of NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development)

The Bronxchester Project will join other like-developments, such as the Grimshaw-designed Via Verde housing complex and the sprawling Melrose Commons Urban Renewal Area, which has added over 2,800 residential units to the neighborhood.

The parameters of the project are fairly flexible: Developers have the option to submit proposals for one or two parcels, but must include mixed-income housing, open space, and commercial space or a community facility.  The RFP deadline is July 3, 2013.

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