A Hunts Point 740-Unit Affordable Housing Development Comes To Life In New Rendering
Change is afoot in the South Bronx—with new developments, beautification projects and more.
Hunts Point in the Bronx conjures images of vast swathes of industrial buildings, desolate streets, waste-transfer stations, prison barges, and brownfields. Drugs and prostitution round off the depressing gallimaufry that couldn’t be more in contrast with the Bronx’s more glamorous southerly neighbors. However, if there was any question that things in the South Bronx, particularly Mott Haven and Hunts Point, are destined for change, new renderings for the upscale sounding The Peninsula, an affordable housing and mixed-use development, have just been revealed.
The Peninsula is due for construction where the now-shuttered Spofford Juvenile Detention Center stands. NYCEDC announced in October that it had chosen Gilbane Development Company, the Hudson Companies, and Mutual Housing Association of New York’s proposal for the site. The design is being handled by WXY architecture + urban design and Body Lawson Associates. The new development, which sits on five acres, will consist of 740 units of affordable housing, 52,000 square feet of open and recreational space, 49,000 square feet of light industrial space, 48,000 square for community facilities, and 21,000 square feet of retail space.
The architects are quick to note that, rather than displace local communities, the development aims to foster them with the affordable housing component and local businesses. The latter will include Hunts Point Brewing Company, Il Forno Bakery, and Lightbox NY film studio. The development will also bring in a supermarket, job training facilities, space for a school, and a community health center.
The former juvenile detention center held a negative stigma of stymied youth and opportunity which was addressed by Maria Torres-Springer, former president of the NYCEDC, when the winning bid was announced in October. Now, if the $300 million, five-building project—which is expected to be finished by 2024—is anything go by, the neighborhood’s future looks better than it has in years.
The new development isn’t the only project getting attention in Hunts Point. After an initial proposal in 2004, $20 million was subsequently raised, according to an article in NYMag.com, for a beautification project that landscaped bike paths as part of the Hunts Point Vision Plan, linking parks with fishing piers and outdoor amphitheaters, and transforming the underside of the expressway into a transportation alternative. Known as Hunts Point Riverside Park, it is a gateway to the revitalized Bronx River, a major connector to the Bronx River Greenway, and a home to kayakers, canoers, and paddlers from across the city.
On October 6th, city and state officials broke ground new parkland that will connect Starlight and Concrete Plant parks and complete a missing connection to the greenway along the shoreline of the Bronx River and to Hunts Point Riverside Park.
“This is the culmination in many ways of a dream come true,” said Congressman Jose E. Serrano. “This piece ties it all together.”