Astor Ave. residents fret about new building

THE BRONX - Residents of Astor Avenue fear a commercial property is about to be built in the middle of their residential area that will jeopardize their quality of life.

Neighbors say an area around 1464 Astor Ave. that used to be filled with trees and bushes is now bare. They say the trees were knocked down in December to make way for a new development.

The land was recently purchased by Les Lerner of LAL Astor Avenue Management. Although nothing has been filed at the Department of Buildings yet, rumors are flying that the new building is going to be a medical office. Residents do not like the idea of a commercial property being placed in the middle of their houses.

The residents? concerns have gotten some elected officials involved. Councilman Jimmy Vacca says that Lerner has promised to meet with the community before he files any development plans.

Neighbors say in addition to the traffic and noise the new building will attract, there is an environmental issue. They say there?s a stream that runs under the property and that the block has always had a drainage problem. Residents fear residue from the construction will contaminate the water and affect everyone on the block.

The local fire department is also against the project, saying that if the area becomes too busy it will be difficult to operate the firehouse.

According to residents, their next step is to set up a meeting with Lerner. They want him to hear out the community?s concerns.

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