$200M Lower Concourse revamp criticized by community
A proposal to invest $200 million to redevelop the Lower Concourse in the South Bronx is attracting criticism from the community it's meant to serve.
Supporters say the plan will drive economic growth by improving streets and other infrastructure while creating green space along the Harlem River.
It also calls for more affordable housing and a high-speed broadband network, and ostensibly will create jobs.
But critics say it could force out longtime residents and businesses. Some community leaders even claim they were not included enough in discussions about the plan.
"We're not against the development, again let me make that perfectly clear," says Ed Figueroa, of the South Bronx Congress. "The development is a good idea. But it has to be inclusive for the community that is there as well. You cannot create partners with folks that you are pushing to the side, they have to be part of the initial plan."
Figueroa suggests letting the community select the developers instead of the city.
The city's Economic Development Corporation released a statement to News 12, saying it "will continue to collaborate closely with local residents, workers, and stakeholders to invest in and strengthen the South Bronx."
Design work should start in the next few months, with construction expected to be complete in 2022.