New 40th Precinct’s Move To Melrose Takes a Step Closer

Rendering of the new 40th Precinct designed by architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group

After almost a year since the latest round of plans and renderings for the new 40th Precinct to be constructed in Melrose at 149th Street and St Ann’s Avenue, plans have finally been submitted to New York City Development of Buildings. 

The $50 million facility will be the first of its kind in the city combining a precinct with a community space with a separate entrance. 

Police and community relations in the 40th are strained thanks in part to years of the NYPD’s abuse of stop and frisk tactics (one of the highest uses of the controversial tactic in NYC). 

This social experiment will be interesting to see how it plays out combining the public and NYPD in this state-of-the-art building. 

Designed by Danish architectural firm, Bjarke Ingels Group, the building will be almost 50,000 in size representing a 475% increase in size from the current 10,000 square foot station house on Alexander Avenue and 138th Street in Mott Haven. 

The current landmark precinct is simply too small and was built in 1924 to serve a much smaller population. 

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Hopefully they’ll be able to fill up the space with more detectives in an area that is severely undeserved in this department. 

According to the New York Times, “And across the Bronx, investigative resources are squeezed. It has the highest violent-crime rate of the city’s five boroughs but the thinnest detective staffing. Nine of the 14 lowest-staffed precinct detective squads for violent crime in the city are there. The borough’s robbery squad is smaller than Manhattan’s, even though the Bronx has had 1,300 more cases this year. And its homicide squad has one detective for every four murders, compared with one detective for roughly every two murders in Upper Manhattan and more than one detective per murder in Lower Manhattan.” 
Also part of the design will be the first ever green roof for an NYPD precinct. 

The new 40th Precinct will have multiple green roofs thanks to its stacked design by Bjarke Ingels Group

Still, many question the price tag and necessity of building a new precinct especially one with such a rough history with the community. 

Some folks have even suggested the money can be put to better use by investing it in badly needed NYC’s public housing NYCHA repairs. 

Moving the 40th to 149th Street puts it more geographically centered to its boundaries but it will be interesting to see what impact it will have on rapidly gentrifying Mott Haven and Port Morris. 

The current precinct is surrounded by NYCHA developments along with dozens of landmark townhouses, market rate condos, and a slew of new buildings rising within a 5 block radius including Somerset’s 25 story towers at the foot of the Third Avenue Bridge. 

Residents near the current location were vocal about not wanting it to move away and argued that the old site should serve as a satellite for the 40th. 

Let’s see what happens once construction is complete and the 40th moved in. 

Do you think we need this new precinct? Is the cost justifiable? 

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