New York City Department of City Planning recently made headlines with the announcement of the Cromwell-Jerome Study Area that straddles the Bronx neighborhoods of Highbridge, University Heights, Morris Heights, Mount Hope, and the Concourse.  The study encompasses a massive 57 block corridor with Jerome Avenue as its spine.

According to an update from City Planning:

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“The first Cromwell-Jerome Planning Group meeting was held on September 30, 2014, at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital.  More than thirty residents, stakeholders, local elected officials and community-based organizations brainstormed on the Cromwell-Jerome Neighborhood study, key topics that should be addressed, roles for City agencies, and best ways to engage the broader community.

Upcoming Events:
DCP invites the public to join Community Walking Tours of the study area. The first tour is scheduled for Saturday, October 18th from 11AM-12PM and will provide a general overview of the study area. The second tour is scheduled for Saturday, October 25th from 11AM-12PM and will focus on transportation and parks in and around the study area. The tours will begin at the NW corner of the Grand Concourse and East 167th Street in front of the High Life Deli and Grocery.

Please check the webpage regularly for updates on the study and upcoming events.

For more information on the Cromwell-Jerome Neighborhood study, contact the Bronx Office of the Department of City Planning at 718.220.8500.”

That being said, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT for residents of the neighborhood to participate in these meetings and walking tours so that the community can voice what they want to happen (or not happen) in the very neighborhoods they live in.

Below is the Cromwell-Jerome Neighborhood Study in its entirety thus far.  You can view it directly by visiting the Department of City Planning Website.

Cromwell-Jerome Neighborhood Study Copyright 2014 The City of New York

Introduction
Cromwell-Jerome Land Use and Zoning Map
Cromwell-Jerome Land Use and Zoning Map
PDF DocumentView a larger image.

In support of Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York Plan, the Department of City Planning (DCP) proposes to lead a ground-up neighborhood planning study to revitalize the area surrounding Cromwell and Jerome avenues in the Bronx. DCP and sister agencies will engage residents, businesses, and other stakeholders to strengthen established residential neighborhoods, promote new housing opportunities for residents at all income levels, and increase economic opportunity through the creation of a community-driven neighborhood plan centered on affordable housing in Community District 4 and Community District 5 in the Bronx. The 73-block Cromwell-Jerome area is strategically located adjacent to the Cross Bronx Expressway, west of the Grand Concourse, and spans Jerome Avenue from East 184th Street in the north to McClellan St/East 167th Street to the south. The area is surrounded by the strong residential communities of Highbridge, Mount Eden, Concourse, Mount Hope, and Morris Heights.Many community stakeholders have suggested that the Cromwell-Jerome area should be revitalized to meet existing area needs and plan for the future. Through the planning process, City Planning will seek to address the needs of local residents, businesses, and institutions. It will evaluate and identify opportunities to promote a range of elements to support community vitality: affordable housing, job growth and training, economic development, cultural activities, pedestrian safety, parks, schools and daycare, retail and services. The study will promote coordinated investments in infrastructure and services to shape a resilient, sustainable community. The study will result in a plan for land use and zoning changes, including the application of a mandatory Inclusionary Housing program within the area.

Neighborhood Profile
The neighborhood study provides a tremendous opportunity to build on the area’s many assets to support the needs of residents and businesses and develop strategies to address its challenges. The study area is well served by mass transit with six stations on the elevated 4 train; the B/D train runs along the Grand Concourse three blocks to the east, and several bus lines that provide connections to other parts of the Bronx and Manhattan. Parts of the area experience congestion and lack pedestrian amenities such as adequate sidewalks, street trees, and benches.

Step street at E. 176 Street and Jerome Avenue
Step street at E. 176 Street and Jerome Avenue

The study area is developed primarily with low-scale commercial, industrial, and auto-related uses, but it also includes more than 5,000 residential units. Almost a hundred years ago, the heart of the Cromwell-Jerome area was developed as a service district to provide parking and other services to the dense residential communities that surround the area, and today includes a high number of parking facilities and auto-related uses. In most of the study area, existing zoning allows heavy commercial and light industrial uses and does not permit residential development. The Cromwell-Jerome area disconnects the residential neighborhood of Highbridge to the west from local services/retail and transit access to the east.

East 167th Street, East 170th Street, Mount Eden Ave, Edward L. Grant Highway, Tremont Avenue, and Burnside Avenue are vibrant local retail corridors in the area. More than 80% of the housing stock in the surrounding area was constructed prior to 1950 and is comprised mostly of 6-8 story apartment buildings. Vacancy rates in the area are significantly lower than the Bronx and NYC as a whole.

The 44th Police Precinct is located at E. 168th Street and Jerome Avenue. New schools recently developed in the area include the New Settlement Community Campus and the Morris Heights Educational Complex. Two charter schools are located in the area. The Cromwell-Jerome area has several small pocket parks and playgrounds that are well utilized; Mullaly Park, located to the south of the study area, is the largest park within walking distance. Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx Lebanon Hospital, and Bronx Community College are located just outside the study area.

 

Jerome Avenue - low-scale industrial and auto-related uses
Jerome Avenue – low-scale industrial and auto-related uses
Elevated view at 175th Street
Elevated view at 175th Street
E Clark Pl and Jerome Avenue
E. Clark Place and Jerome Avenue
Open Parking at 170 Street
Open Parking at 170 Street
New School and Community Facility on Goble Place
New School and Community Facility on Goble Place
Keltch Park at Jerome Avenue and E. 170 Street
Keltch Park at Jerome Avenue and E. 170 Street
Jerome Avenue and E. 170 Street
Jerome Avenue and E. 170 Street

Coordinated Planning
As part of the city’s commitment to coordinated neighborhood planning, DCP and numerous City agencies will work collaboratively with the community to identify neighborhood needs and opportunities for investments that will support the long-term growth and sustainability of the area. There will be a concerted effort to align capital investments with the goals and objectives set forth as part of the neighborhood planning process. Among the City agencies DCP will partner with on the neighborhood plan are the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), Department of Small Business Services (SBS), Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), School Construction Authority (SCA), NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC), and the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation (MOER). In addition, as part of the neighborhood study, DCP’s Transportation Division and Bronx Office have initiated a transportation study of the area. The purpose of this study is to identify existing problematic locations in terms of traffic and transportation, and identify circulation, mobility, safety and access improvements for all roadway users, with an emphasis on pedestrian safety and walkability. Recommendations for improvements will be intended to serve the existing community as well as future needs. The transportation recommendations will be developed in consultation with local stakeholders, and in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation (CDOT).

Walking Tour Flyer
PDF DocumentView Walking Tour Flyer

Community Engagement
Community engagement will play a pivotal role in the creation and implementation of the neighborhood study. DCP intends for the neighborhood study to reflect the community’s vision for the neighborhood, and the agency will strive for local ownership of the study’s goals and vision in partnership with city agencies.With assistance from the Cromwell-Jerome Planning Group (CJPG), established for the purpose of advising the agencies on the study, DCP will lead a wide range of events and activities throughout the process to facilitate public participation and engage the community in the visioning process including: walking tours, visioning sessions, surveys, small group discussions, and focus groups. The Planning Group includes Community Board 4, Community Board 5, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., CM Vanessa Gibson, CM Fernando Cabrera, WHEDCO, New Settlement Houses, Highbridge Community Development Corporation, Mount Hope Housing, Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, and others.  The Planning Group was launched in September 2014.Update:
The first Cromwell-Jerome Planning Group meeting was held on September 30, 2014, at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital.  More than thirty residents, stakeholders, local elected officials and community-based organizations brainstormed on the Cromwell-Jerome Neighborhood study, key topics that should be addressed, roles for City agencies, and best ways to engage the broader community.

Member of the Cromwell-Jerome Planning Group review the group’s mission and discuss ground rules.
Member of the Cromwell-Jerome Planning Group review the group’s mission and discuss ground rules.
Planning group member Tom Herrera discusses assets and challenges related to transportation in the study area.
Planning group member Tom Herrera discusses assets and challenges related to transportation in the study area.

Upcoming Events:
DCP invites the public to join Community Walking Tours of the study area. The first tour is scheduled for Saturday, October 18th from 11AM-12PM and will provide a general overview of the study area. The second tour is scheduled for Saturday, October 25th from 11AM-12PM and will focus on transportation and parks in and around the study area. The tours will begin at the NW corner of the Grand Concourse and East 167th Street in front of the High Life Deli and Grocery.

Please check the webpage regularly for updates on the study and upcoming events.

For more information on the Cromwell-Jerome Neighborhood study, contact the Bronx Office of the Department of City Planning at 718.220.8500.


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Copyright 2014 The City of New York

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