Riverdale redevelopment project moves forward despite residents’ push back
A controversial proposal to construct a new five-story, mixed-use building in Riverdale appears set to move forward despite residents' concerns.
The neighborhood's Brust Park, which is adjacent to the site is at stake, according to residents who believe the new building will block crucial sunlight.
The New York City Department of Buildings approved the project at 440 West 242nd St. to move forward at the end of January, despite months of pushback from the community.
"We are concerned that they may want to encroach upon public property, that what they do may damage Brust Park,” says Bronx Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.
Dinowitz says the placement of the construction fence indicates the developer could dig into a patch of city land that some residents say could put the root system of the park's trees at risk.
"One thing we're really pushing for is just that the city take the opportunity to kind of look at it and figure out a way to kind of force an environmental review of the project to really understand these impacts," says resident Calder Orr.
Timber Equities, the developer, says the building will include 29 apartment units. It issued a statement that read in part, "Our team dedicated significant time and effort to design a contextual building, appropriately sized for the immediate neighborhood."
However, residents also worry about breaking ground on a site with a decades-old retaining wall that supports Dash Place.
“Dash Place collapses, then you have that building that could collapse. In any case, we don't know what's under there,” says resident Tim Wacker.
Timber Equities says the DOB has issued a demolition permit and work on the development will begin soon.