City moves to rezone two Bronx commercial corridors

The city is hoping that zoning changes can turn two underused commercial corridors in the Bronx into attractive neighborhood destinations. The two stretches, one- and three-quarters of a mile on Webster Avenue and six blocks of East Fordham Road near Fordham University, respectively, are currently filled with vacant sites, car washes, self-storage facilities and gas stations. Webster Avenue is currently zoned for an elevated train line that was removed in 1973. The city’s new plan for the area is in the environmental review stage and, if approved, would take effect by 2011. “We think that it could be transformed into an inviting, walkable, full-service neighborhood corridor,” said Carol Samol, director of City Planning’s Bronx office. Samol said property owners in the area up for rezoning have already expressed interest in redeveloping their sites. On East Fordham Road, which is zoned for industrial and auto-related commercial businesses, city officials are “still working with the community on the vision for this area,” according to Samol. [NYDN]

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