City, park advocates at odds over proposed affordable housing space

<p>Park advocates say they are angered over the city's plans to put affordable housing in an area they say was supposed to be completely dedicated to green space.</p>

News 12 Staff

May 23, 2017, 2:04 AM

Updated 2,617 days ago

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Park advocates say they are angered over the city's plans to put affordable housing in an area they say was supposed to be completely dedicated to green space.
The city says that is not the case.
A lot adjacent to Mill Pond Park - known as Pier 5 - was supposed to become parkland.
"We had plans for a recreation center, access to the waterfront, which we don't have around here," says park advocate Anita Antonetty. 
City officials say they contemplated turning Pier 5 into parkland, but never received the proper funding to do so.
Chauncy Young, another park advocate, says he took part in envisioning plans for Mill Pond Park, which the city built as part of its effort to replace more than 22 acres of parkland that were lost during construction of the new Yankee Stadium. 
Young says it was clear during meetings at the time that Pier 5 was supposed to be part of the park development.
Now, Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration is planning on putting affordable housing in the so-called "Lower Concourse North” site that can have more than 1,000 units, angering park advocates.
But in a statement, a spokesperson from the city's Economic Development Corporation said the affordable housing project would include recreational space.
“This project is an irrefutable win for South Bronx residents," the statement concluded.
The city says the housing it plans on building would take up three of the five acres of the site, leaving the remaining two acres for an extension of Mill Pond Park.
The city says the de Blasio administration understands the need for open space in the community, which is why it is trying to turn a 2.5-acre lot on 144th Street into a community park.


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