In the fall of 2014, Mayor de Blasio announced the City’s intention to rezone a 73-block corridor along Jerome Avenue in the Bronx from 167th Street to 184th Street. As a major corridor that connects the densely populated, working class residential neighborhoods surrounding the elevated 4 train, the majority of the area is currently zoned for manufacturing and heavy commercial uses.
Since early 2015, Pratt Center has been working with the Bronx Coalition for a Community Vision (“the Coalition”) as they develop and advocate for their vision of a just rezoning. Led by Community Action for Safe Apartments of New Settlement Apartments (CASA), the Coalition includes faith-based organizations, tenant organizing groups, local union members, and auto merchants.
From March through September of 2015, the Coalition’s steering committee led a series of visioning sessions, with support from Pratt Center and our collaborating technical assistance providers, that were centered around four principles:
The visioning series culminated in the October 2015 release of the Coalition’s Policy Platform, which articulates steps that should be taken in order to ensure the realization of the Coalition’s vision, as well as identifies a variety of implementation mechanisms.
As the Coalition advocates for strategies that would treat fairly the existing workers and business in the neighborhood, Pratt Center supports this effort with research and analysis rooted in our knowledge of industrial preservation, land use planning and policy, as well as local retail planning and revitalization. In particular, this work has led to the publication of Under the Hood: A Look into New York City’s Auto Repair Industry and Out of Gas: How the City Can Do Better for Jerome Avenue’s Auto Workers.
The official land use review process for the proposed rezoning began in August 2017.As that process proceeds, Pratt Center and our TA partners will continue to work closely with the Coalition to assist them in organizing to realize their vision not only for their neighborhoods, but for shaping the future of accountable development in the Bronx and in the city as a whole.