WATCH: Two Part Series on BronxTalk Explores the Jerome Ave Study Area With City Planning & Community Organizations

Gary Axelbank with Carmen Rivera Vega of CASA and
Gary Axelbank with Carmen Rivera Vega of CASA and Barry Smith from 100 Black Construction Workers Local 79

One of the hottest topics in Bronx real estate is the proposed Cromwell-Jerome Avenue Study area which has the potential to transform a 73 block area which overlapping two community districts and multiple neighborhoods such as Highbridge, Mount Hope, Mount Eden, Morris Heights, Fordham, and University Heights. So much so that part 2 of the series which aired on Monday has already been seen over 28,000 times as of this posting.

Critics, including many area residents and community based organizations are cautious about any rezoning plans that does not include the true stakeholders in the neighborhoods — the residents, business owners, and the many organizations that have been embedded in the community for decades.

This caution comes from decades of rezonings and upzonings that have been forced upon communities with little to know input from said groups, however, Department of City Planning’s Bronx Director, Carol Samol has insisted that this is unlike any other studies and rezonings because there has been no actual proposals as to what will happen in the massive 73 block area.

Samol has said that instead, this is a clean slate where the community can come together to help shape a neighborhood the city has identified could use a look at given that it hasn’t had any zoning in over half a century.  Already meetings are being held by DCP, the first of which was held on March 14th with several more coming over the next few weeks, including a Spanish session for the area’s Spanish-speaking residents.

Dates of DCP community meetings for the Jerome Avenue Study Area
Dates of DCP community meetings for the Jerome Avenue Study Area

Two weeks ago, in anticipation of these meetings and any work from DCP, many residents and community organizations held their first big meeting to talk about the Jerome Avenue Study, teach the community about the zoning process and the real possibility of displacement and what can be done to fight back any displacement which is possible whenever a neighborhood is upzoned.

Gary Axelbank, the host of the long running BronxTalk, held a two-part series of discussions on the issues with the first having aired Monday, March 10 with Carol Samol on the show to talk more about the process and the study.  On Monday, the second air showed which gave community groups such as CASA and Local 79 a chance to present their thoughts and ideas on the situation at hand.

Watch the videos on the conversation and let us know what you think.

Part I – BronxTalk, March 9, 2015 – Jerome Avenue Study Area with DCP Bronx Director Carol Samol and Daniel Hernandez of HPD.

Part II – BronxTalk Jerome Avenue Study Area with Carmen Vega Rivera of CASA and Barry Smith from 100 Black Construction Workers Local 79

Full Welcome2TheBronx coverage on the Jerome Avenue Study Area as it is now known is available here.


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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.