State to Collaborate With New York City Regional Economic Development Council to Revitalize the Bronx Civic Center Downtown Neighborhood
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 — Governor Andrew Cuomo and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. have appointed Dr. Vinton Thompson, President of Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) to the Local Planning Committee overseeing the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). The first meeting of the committee took place on Monday, November 13 at the offices of the Borough President.
The Bronx Civic Center neighborhood includes the area bounded by 144th Street on the south, 165th Street on the north, the Harlem River on the west and St. Ann’s Avenue/East-Third Avenue on the east. MCNY’s Bronx Campus is in the heart of this community at 463 East 149th Street. “With our new campus, MCNY is a proud participant in the revitalization of the South Bronx,” said President Thompson, “This award is an affirmation of the community’s progress and potential. We will work with others to make the rising Bronx an even better place to live, work and go to school. We’re pleased to have the support of the Governor and the active engagement of Borough President Diaz as this initiative goes forward.”
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, “The Downtown Revitalization Initiative is designed to transform traditional downtown neighborhoods into even more vibrant communities. This program will help shape the future of the South Bronx, and make the communities surrounding this institution and others even greater places to live, work and raise families. With this funding, the South Bronx will have the opportunity to reach its full potential using community-based efforts to strengthen our neighborhoods. My office greatly appreciates Governor Cuomo’s continued commitment to The Bronx, and I look forward to working with local stakeholders to implement this DRI.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the Bronx Civic Center neighborhood in the South Bronx will receive $10 million in funding and investments as the New York City winner of the second round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. As in the first round of the DRI, one downtown from each of the state’s 10 regional economic development regions will be selected as that region’s DRI winner and will benefit from $10 million in state investment to revitalize the area, marking another overall state goal to target $100 million in funding and investments to help communities identify catalytic downtown projects to boost the local economy.
The Bronx Civic Center neighborhood includes the area bounded by 144th Street on the south, 165th Street on the north, the Harlem River on the west and St. Ann’s Avenue/East-Third Avenue on the east. Weighing the eight criteria below, the New York City Regional Economic Development Council reviewed the South Bronx’s proposal for downtown revitalization, together with the proposals from other participant communities from the New York City region, before recommending the Bronx Civic Center neighborhood as its nominee for winner.
- The downtown should be compact, with well-defined boundaries;
- The municipality, or the downtown’s catchment area, should be of sufficient size to support a vibrant, year-round downtown;
- The downtown is able to capitalize on prior or catalyze future private and public investment in the neighborhood and its surrounding areas;
- There should be recent or impending job growth within, or in close proximity to the downtown that can attract workers to the downtown, support redevelopment and make growth sustainable;
- The downtown must be an attractive and livable community for diverse populations of all ages, including existing residents, millennials, and skilled workers;
- The municipality should already embrace or have the ability to create and implement policies that increase livability and quality of life, including the use of local land banks, modern zoning codes and parking standards, complete streets plans, energy efficient projects, green jobs, and transit-oriented development;
- The municipality should have conducted an open and robust community engagement process resulting in a vision for downtown revitalization and a preliminary list of projects and initiatives that may be included in a DRI strategic investment plan; and
- The municipality has identified transformative projects that will be ready for implementation with an infusion of DRI funds within the first one to two years.