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A brand-new Bronx neighborhood?

By Dana Varinsky

Can new nabes be created from scratch? (We’re looking at you, FiDi, Hellsea and Bococa.) The Department of City Planning hopes the answer is yes—officials are studying how to revitalize the area around Cromwell and Jerome Avenues in the Bronx.

Currently, the neighborhood, which is north of Yankee Stadium, near the 167th St stops of the 4 and B/D trains, is made up mostly of parking lots and commercial businesses; it isn’t zoned to allow residential development. Thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s initiative to add 200,000 affordable units throughout NYC within ten years, though, the Planning Department is hoping to change that.

Carol Samol, the director of City Planning’s Bronx office, says local community groups and elected officials have been interested in revitalizing the Cromwell-Jerome area for a while. “It’s got some very good support for growth,” Samol says. “It has really good transit access and strong neighborhoods surrounding it. We’re thinking about the neighborhood holistically—sidewalks, services, retail, parks, workforce development, all of it.”

Samol says the first step in the process is hearing from the community. “It’s very important to us that we have local ownership of the vision and planning goals as much as the city has ownership,” she says.

To get those voices heard, a series of meetings and tours will be held over the next six months—the first are October 18 and 25. Anyone curious about the area can meet at 167th Street and Grand Concourse at 11am either Saturday. “This is an opportunity to see and participate in the creation of a neighborhood,” Samol says. “It’s so rare that you get to do that in New York.” Get ready for Cro-Jero!


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