A plot of land bordered on two sides by expressways may not seem like the ideal location for a new housing development, but that's exactly what's coming to rezoned industrial lots on West Farms Road in the Bronx. What once was a hot dog factory and metal fabricator is being transformed into a 10-building development with 1,325 units of affordable housing and 46,000 square feet of retail space by Signature Urban Properties. The Times reports that the project recently received $1.2 million in financing from the Bronx borough president, who calls the development a "small city," and Councilman Joel Rivera allocated another $1.3 million. Construction can now begin on the first two buildings.
The West Farms Road site is located near to four subway stops, and it's just across the Sheridan Expressway from the 12-acre Starlight Park, which is currently being restored. There's also a nearby shopping plaza and supermarket, plus other residential developments to the west. The new project will have public gardens, and the School Construction Authority will have the option to purchase land for just $1 if a new school is needed.
The development could also be the catalyst for a much bigger change: the removal of the Sheridan Expressway. The road is just over a mile long, and many people not involved with the new project have already called for its destruction. But any decision on the expressway's fate would likely come after the new buildings go up, so for now, the road remains.
· Rezoning Clears Way for 'Small City' in the Bronx [NYT]