Community tries to turn trashy Bronx lot into treasure

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS - A Manhattan-quality apartment building with affordable units could soon be going up in University Heights.

A littered parking lot on Landing Road may become the site of an eight-story, 140-unit apartment building. Amenities will include a health club, Manhattan and Harlem River views and a doorman.

"[A] very attractive, modern brick building," said Jack Guttman of Chelsea Development Group. "Some [apartments] with terraces and patios and parking for every resident down below."

Community Board 7 has given the project the green light. The city will vote in the near future on whether to rezone the area for residential use. If approved, half of the 140 units will be sold at market rate and others will go to moderate-income renters.

Bedford Park, Fordham, Kingsbridge and University Heights residents will have priority on a waiting list for the units.

Board Chairman Greg Faulkner said the community is holding the Manhattan-based developer accountable for investing in the area. The developer intends to hire contractors from the Bronx and offer retail space to local businesses below the apartments.

Construction could begin in early 2008 if the city OKs the rezoning.

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