What originally started as a 73 block rezoning study area has progressed into a huge 92-block rezoning planned for the Jerome Avenue corridor spanning multiple neighborhoods through the West Bronx.
Since it was first announced as the Cromwell-Jerome Study area, thousands of local residents and business owners have joined together in protest against the rezoning citing concerns of displacement and that City Planning will just pave the way for gentrification of the area.
The vast majority of the corridor, dominated by the elevated 4 subway line, is made up of primarily low-density commercial buildings, many of which are home to hundreds of mom and pop businesses including dozens of auto shops providing a pathway to a strong working middle class existence in this city.
But all that is now threatened as the city moves forward to likely approve this rezoning from industrial to mixed-use residential and commercial that is projected to create 3,250 new residential units, 723,000 square feet of space dedicated for community use, and approximately 35,000 square feet of retail.
And at what cost you may be asking yourself? The cost goes beyond simply losing 47,000 square feet of industrial space and 98,000 square feet of auto-related businesses but the skilled middle-class jobs that are currently housed in these spaces many of which have been in families for generations and are immigrant and people of color owned and operated.
CityLimits is producing a series of videos on the topic as we get closer to New York City Council voting (and undoubtedly approving) on the Jerome Avenue Rezoning which is scheduled for next Wednesday, January 17th.
In the first video we have Bronx resident Carmen Rivera-Vega who has lived in the area for 37 years and is also a local tenant activist and a leader over at CASA (Community Action for Safe Apartments).
The second video features Frank Amato, a recent transplant to The Bronx who has only lived here for 3 years and, you guessed it, is for the rezoning (I guess that’s an easy position to take when you don’t have ties to the area like residents who’ve lived there for generations).
But, he also has concerns about the displacement of the autoshops and workers.
Watch both videos below and let us know what you think: