The city is planning a new neighborhood in the Bronx.
The Department of City Planning gave the Daily News an inside look, and a private tour, of the 57-block valley between the Grand Concourse and Highbridge that could soon be known as “Cromwell-Jerome.”
The area, over-burdened with auto shops, parking lots and self-storage facilities, is ripe for retail and residential development, according to a new study unveiled by the city on Tuesday.
“Because we’re in effect creating a new neighborhood here, and knitting together existing neighborhoods, we have to bring everyone together around that,” Carol Samol, the Bronx director of the Department of City Planning told The News. “We are proposing this approach because of the needs of this community.”
The city will involve multiple agencies in planning the new neighborhood, Samol said, keeping an eye on supporting economic development and affordable housing, improving parks and making the streets safer for pedestrians.
The project will support Mayor de Blasio’s housing plan, which calls for 200,000 affordable units to be built or preserved over the next decade.
A cornerstone of that blueprint is to encourage local involvement
Cromwell Ave., near 170th St., is a collection of auto shops and one-and-two-story buildings that could be the heart of a new residential and retail corridor, according to the Department of City Planning.
— and residents said they will be happy to oblige.
“This is definitely a bottom-up approach and we’re thrilled to see this,” said Jose Rodriguez, the district manager of Bronx Community Board 4, which has been pushing for an analysis of the under-utilized area for years.
The city hopes to work with area non-profits such as New Settlement in finding ways to add affordable housing to the neighborhood.
The low-lying valley at the heart of Cromwell-Jerome separates the towering Highbridge residential district from public transportation and could become a vibrant new neighborhood with the addition of affordable housing, jobs and open spaces.
The city will hold a series of community meetings for residents to weigh in about the future of the area, which will include the rezoning of the Jerome Ave. corridor.
Rezoning the strip of one-story shops under the elevated 4 train tracks, which is predominantly heavy commercial and light industrial, would allow for mixed-income residential development, as well as encourage retail activity, Rodriguez said.
“Community outreach will be a key component to this,” Rodriguez added. “It’s nice to see the city is listening.”