Gentrification-wary Bronx board shoots down de Blasio’s zoning plans

Proposal would add too much density, not enough low-rent units: critics

TRD New York /
Nov.November 20, 2015 01:04 PM

The Bronx Borough Board this week shot down two controversial zoning plans designed to spur the development of affordable housing, citing fears that accelerating gentrification will force out local residents.

In a 19-0 vote, the board opposed Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plans, which are a key component of the administration’s goal of creating and preserving 200,000 affordable units by 2024.

Critics say the rental threshold for apartments is still too high, and that zoning chances would add density and height to neighborhoods, while removing a requirement for developers to provide parking.

“As chairman of this board, I speak for all of us in urging the City Council and our speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, to heed the united voices of The Bronx—and the growing chorus of opposition in every corner of this city—and to stop this proposal when it comes before the City Council,” Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said in a statement Thursday.

But the mayor’s spokesman Wiley Norvell reiterated the need for more affordable housing, in an email to Politico. “Make no mistake, we are in an affordable housing crisis and these policies are vital tools we need to confront it,” he wrote.

Diaz is largely seen as pro-development and has offered financial incentives to entice business owners and developers to invest in the Bronx. Developers have responded by rushing to invest, particularly in the South Bronx, although community advocates fear gentrification could force local residents out of their neighborhoods.

“I don’t want to lose our population or our flavor as a borough,” Diaz told TRD last month. “With that said, I also need to create jobs. There are some parts of the Bronx that need to be developed because they’ve looked the same way since I’m an adolescent.”

Mark-Viverito, who in recent weeks sharply criticized market-rate developers in the South Bronx, abstained from Thursday’s vote.

In Queens, most community boards have opposed de Blasio’s zoning hopes. Bed-Stuy and Sheepshead Bay/Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn have also taken aim at the zoning plans, as have boards repping the Upper West Side, Harlem and Midtown in Manhattan. [Politico newsletter] – E.B. Solomont

 

Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
All Falls Down: Kanye West’s “Star Wars”-themed affordable housing plan hits snag

All Falls Down: Kanye West’s “Star Wars”-themed affordable housing plan hits snag

1065-1075 Gerard Avenue in the Bronx 

Prana pays Related $36M in Bronx multifamily play

448 East 143rd Street in the Bronx (Credit: Google Maps)

Private developer’s NYCHA project in Mott Haven lands $79M in financing

From left: 305 East 47th Street and 286 River Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Here’s what the $10M-$30M NYC investment sales market looked like last week

Inwood has stayed affordable for a remarkably long time. That could soon change. (Credit: Wikipedia)

Inwood braces for gentrification

When Bill de Blasio announced the end of his campaign, the industry reacted largely with relief but not surprise (Credit: Getty Images and Pixabay)

De Blasio’s campaign is dead, and real estate is happy

Rent reform is propelling a new wave of New York and California investors to Miami (Credit: iStock)

Rent reform in New York, California propels new wave of multifamily investors to Miami

Gary Barnett says luxury market is crowded, WeWork IPO woes continue: Daily Digest

Gary Barnett says luxury market is crowded, WeWork IPO woes continue: Daily Digest

arrow_forward_ios