On Thursday, the New York City Council approved legislation that transfers ownership of Hart Island, the nation’s largest public cemetery where over 1 million people are buried, to the city’s Parks Department. The 101-acre island off the coast of the Bronx contains a potters field that has been the final resting place for destitute New Yorkers as far back as the Civil War. The island is currently operated by the Department of Correction (DOC), with Rikers Island inmates paid $1 an hour to bury bodies there. This week’s vote comes after a years-long fight to end the onerous process required of visitors who wish to pay their respects to loved ones buried there; its intent is to make the island more accessible to the public and improve its dilapidated conditions.
Google Street View of the houses across the street from 735 Cauldwell Avenue, Map data © 2019 Google
In the Melrose section of the South Bronx, a new building is now accepting applications for 161 affordable apartments. Located at 735 Cauldwell Avenue, just a couple blocks from the 2 and 5 trains at Jackson Avenue, the building has a part-time attended lobby, roof deck, fitness center, party room, and laundry. The units are available to households earning 30, 50, or 100 percent of the area median income and range from $331/month studios to $1,910/month three-bedrooms.
Rendering by Peter L. Woll Architect, P.C; Courtesy of Community Access
An affordable housing complex with health and wellness perks officially opened in the South Bronx on Tuesday, after breaking ground more than two years ago. The $52 million building at 111 East 172nd Street in the neighborhood of Mount Eden contains 126 apartments, with 60 of them set aside for those living with mental illness. The units are affordable for households earning 60 percent of the area median income.
You’re probably familiar with the big attractions in the Bronx: Yankee Stadium, the New York Botanical Garden, and the Bronx Zoo. But the borough has a lot more going on, from historic and cultural treats and treasures to new breweries and restaurants and acres of beaches, parks, trails, and gardens. Read on for a collection of destinations in the city’s northernmost, greenest, and most diverse borough that are worth the trip, wherever you’re coming from.
Rendering by BLA and WXY
The city on Monday broke ground on a five-acre mixed-use project that will bring more than 700 affordable apartments, open space, and manufacturing space to the Bronx. The Hunts Point complex, called the Penninsula, will sit at the site of the former Spofford Juvenile Detention Center, which closed in 2011 following reports of cruel conditions. Construction will now kick off on the project’s first phase and includes space for industrial and light manufacturing businesses and 183 deeply affordable housing units.
A housing lottery launched this week for 52 mixed-income units in the Bronx neighborhood of Bedford Park. Located at 16 East 204th Street, the building, dubbed “Villa Gardens,” sits just east of Jerome Park Reservoir and the 37-acre campus of Lehman College. Qualifying New Yorkers earning 60, 90, and 100 percent of area median income can apply for the apartments, ranging from $736/month studios to $2,066/month three-bedrooms.
Seniors who identify as LGBT often experience housing discrimination, but dozens of affordable openings at one of New York City’s first subsidized developments targeted to this vulnerable population aim to create a different experience. Non-profit developer HELP USA partnered with advocacy group SAGE to create the mixed-use development at 775 Crotona Park North in the Bronx, which will combine low-income housing with an LGBT-oriented Senior Center on the ground floor. Starting Tuesday, individuals or households that have at least one household member who is 62 years of age or older and who qualify for Section 8 can apply for the 57 available units. Eligible residents will pay 30 percent of their income for rent.
Ninety-four newly constructed units are up for grabs at 985 Bruckner Boulevard in Woodstock, the Bronx. Non-profit Community Access worked with Think! Architecture and Design on the project, which spans across ten floors and 170,000 square feet and includes 215 residential units and a 70,300 square foot community facility. Qualifying applicants earning 60 percent of the area median income can apply for units that range from $748/month studios to $1,148/month two-bedrooms.
Four hundred local bus stops in the Bronx will be cut as part of a major system redesign, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Tuesday. The large reduction is an attempt to speed up travel times by moving bus stops further apart, from an average of 882 feet to 1,092 feet between them. The new plan also brings two new local routes and an express route to the borough, providing commuters better peak-hour service between north Bronx and Midtown.
Photo via Wiki Commons
The Vernon C. Bain Center, an 800-capacity floating jail in the East River, costs $24 million a year to operate and was supposed to be permanently shut down decades ago. Opened in 1992 to help with an overcrowded prison system due in part to the crack epidemic, the 625-foot-long motorless barge has been docked along New York City’s shoreline since then, the New York Times reports. And as the city plans to shut down Rikers Island, overhaul the criminal justice system, and create more humane jails with fewer inmates, advocates say the barge has to go. The city has pledged to close the facility once the City Council votes on the prison reform plan; both Rikers and Bain would close by 2026.