Plan for Westchester Square project draws pushback from community

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THE BRONX -

A plan to bring a mixed-use building to Westchester Square is facing pushback from the community, while developers say it would bring more affordable housing to the neighborhood.

The site is at Blondell and Westchester avenues. Community activists who spoke with News 12 say they're not opposed to creating housing opportunities, but say they have problems with the proposed building being on the street.

Members of Westchester Square-Zerega Improvement Organization say they're concerned about congestion on Blondell Avenue when the large-scale project is complete.

Blondell Commons is the name of the nine-story development with 228 apartment units and ground-floor retail space. It would be more than 211,000 square feet, with most of the space occupied by residential units, including for homeless veterans. The building will also reportedly include a parking garage that would be partially open to the public.

Blondell Avenue, which has been zoned for industrial purposes, would need a zoning change. But opponents are worried that will encourage more development. They also say remediation will be required to make what they say is a contaminated site livable.

The developer said in a statement:

Exact Capital is proud to be working with the city and local stakeholders to provide 228 units of desperately needed affordable housing that will serve both low and middle income New Yorkers and their families. This rezoning is about cleaning up a vacant blighted lot and repurposing it to a productive use. As we do in all of our new construction projects, we will be incorporating energy efficiency measures which for this project will be done in concert with the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Developers met with Community Board 10 Monday night after their proposal was turned down by Community Board 11, which manages one side of the street on which the building is proposed to be built.

 

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