The massive West Farms development being led by former City Council Speaker Gifford Miller secured more funding this month, paving the way for construction to start on the first phase of the project by early next year. The New York Times reported that Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. allocated $1.2 million in funding, and City Council member Joel Rivera’s office contributed $1.3 million more on top of financing already secured from the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
Gifford’s Signature Urban Properties will build 237 units for low- and moderate-income residents and 4,200 square feet of retail space across two buildings in the first phase of the 10-building, 1,325-unit development that calls for 46,000 square feet of retail. The entire construction process should be complete in seven to nine years.
Rivera said Miller used his knowledge of the Bronx’s needs — specifically, affordable housing — and his experience with the city’s “turbulent” bureaucracy to quickly secure approval and funding. The Times said the plan also benefited from a residential rezoning of the area last fall, the proximity to subway transportation and the restoration of the 12-acre Starlight Park, just across the Sheridan Expressway from the five-acre development site.
Miller said the goal of the project is to build “a vibrant residential community for low- to moderate-income folks who need a great place to live and access to transit to get to their jobs and their lives.” By blending income levels, developers said, the project is more likely to attract a wide-range of retail stores. [NYT]