City Council subcommittee greenlights MIH project in the Bronx

De Blasio's office calls vote on La Central a big victory

<em>Rendering of 430 Westchester Avenue (credit: Yimby) (inset: Councilman Rafael Salamanca Jr.)</em>
Rendering of 430 Westchester Avenue (credit: Yimby) (inset: Councilman Rafael Salamanca Jr.)

A month after local officials defeated what was designed to be a trailblazing private development in Inwood, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration can claim a major affordable housing victory in the Bronx.

The city council’s planning subcommittee on Wednesday approved the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program at La Central, a 992-unit affordable housing project planned for the Melrose section of the Bronx. The project, publicly funded and developed, will head to a full Council vote next week.

“Nearly a thousand families in the Bronx will have new homes they can afford, with new services and recreation facilities that will strengthen this whole neighborhood,” de Blasio said in a statement.

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A spokesperson for the mayor called the approval “a big momentum-builder” for MIH, which has recently hit some significant speed bumps. Last month, the council’s subcommittee voted against Washington Square Partners and Acadia Realty Trust’s [TRDataCustom] Sherman Plaza in Inwood, which would have been the first private development under MIH. The mayor is facing similar pushback in Sunnyside, where a 209-unit project is planned.

The key difference in Melrose is that the units are entirely affordable, muting cries of impending gentrification. Beyond that, the neighborhood’s council representative — Councilman Rafael Salamanca Jr. — supports the project. In Inwood, Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez opposed rezoning the site. As is traditionally the case, the rest of the council voted according to the neighborhood’s representative.

La Central, planned for 430 Westchester Avenue, will feature 992 affordable units across five buildings. In phase 1 of the project, 10 percent of the units will be dedicated to families who earn no more than 30 percent of the area’s median income. — Kathryn Brenzel

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