From rezoning areas to increase housing opportunities to building new bike ramps in an effort to improve pedestrian and bicycle travel, there are many projects taking place in NYC to help improve the lives of its citizens.
East Harlem Rezoning Gains Approval
Following the city’s release of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, the proposal to rezone East Harlem is now officially moving forward. With plans to rezone an area that spans a 96-block stretch of the neighborhood, the change could potentially bring 3,500 new apartments to the area. With backing from local residents and inspired by the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan, the initiative would result in creating a large section of new apartments with a permanent affordable housing designation. This would be in keeping with the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program.
The specific area that is being considered for rezoning is generally bounded by East 132nd Street to the north, East 104th Street to the South, Second Avenue to the east and Park Avenue to the west. Pushing for the expansion of the Subway located on Second Avenue will also be a part of the proposal, as the city is hoping that the rezoning initiative will also lead to the creation of 122,000 square feet of stores and restaurants as well as 275,000 square feet of industrial and office space. In this way, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development hopes to increase affordable housing options while also safeguarding affordability and improving economic opportunity in the neighborhood.
Most of the development likely to occur through this process will take place on East 116th Street as well as parts of Third Avenue and on Park Avenue in the area near the 125th Street Metro North stop. Those new developments located on East 116th Street, East 125th Street, Second Avenue, Third Avenue and Park Avenue will be required to activate their ground floor spaces in order to create a more welcoming pedestrian experience. Buildings on Park Avenue will also be asked to have a setback from around the height of the Metro North Viaduct for this same reason.
The city is also currently pushing to rezone a nearly full-block site bounded by Madison and Park Avenues and East 111th and East 112th streets. This project could result in bringing 655 new affordable apartments to the neighborhood. The project would also include the development of a job-training center, a YMCA, a supermarket and a charter school.
New Bike Ramp Coming to Roosevelt Island Bridge
In an effort to make the commute to Roosevelt Island a bit easier, Governor Andrew Cuomo has set aside $3 million to create a dedicated bike ramp on the Roosevelt Island Bridge. While a construction timeline hasn’t yet been determined, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation will lead the efforts to build the ramp.
The funds that have been set aside for the project are part of the $112.2 million that have been set aside for improving bicycle and pedestrian access throughout the state. In all, the funds will be distributed among 81 projects meant to help enhance infrastructure while also improving pedestrian and bicycle travel.