Community members rally to support historic building slated to be torn down

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THE BRONX -

A rally was held in Spuyten Duyvil Sunday to show support for a nearly century-old structure amid a heated debate between developers and the community because the historic building may be torn down.

The Villa Rosa Bonheur building on Palisade and Independence avenues has emerged as a center of controversy for dozens of concerned neighbors. Community members, local leaders and others gathered to protest the development of a new building in place of the one that they say has historical significance.

Villa Rosa Bonheur, with just seven units, was built in 1924 with a unique stone facade. Residents say the proposed seven-story building with around 50 rental units would destroy the aesthetic of the neighborhood, block river views and cause too much congestion.

Developer Timber Equities argues the new building will be beneficial, bringing in much-needed rental properties in an area full of co-ops and condos. The developer adds that everything it has done so far has been by the book.

Residents tell News 12 that they hope that least parts of the old facade can be incorporated into the new structure, to maintain some of Villa Rosa Bonheur's charm.

Developers say the project is going ahead as planned, but they hope to communicate more with concerned residents moving forward.

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