a fossil fuel power plant. The effect of such facilities on air quality in the South Bronx, where we have an asthma epidemic, is very concerning. Asthma rates in the South Bronx are eight times the national average; asthma deaths are three times the national average; and it is estimated that one in every five children in the South Bronx has asthma. The Mott Haven-Port Morris Waterfront Plan would help offset this health crisis by providing designated open spaces on the waterfront for walking, running, boating and engaging in other sports activities.
Zones – Harlem River Yards is part of the South Bronx Significant Maritime Industrial Area (SMIA), which is more than 850 acres in size, stretching from Port Morris on the Harlem River to Hunts Point on the East River. Hurricane Sandy caused significant flooding of the South Bronx SMIA. In Mott Haven-Port Morris alone, upwards of three and half feet of water swelled Harlem River Yards at Lincoln Avenue, leaving a trail of destroyed businesses and a concerning toxic-appearing residue along the streets. The foundation of the former East 132nd Street pier, which abuts the Long Island Sound and is adjacent to a fossil fuel power plant, was forcefully ripped out of the ground from the pressure of the storm. The Mott Haven-Port Morris Waterfront Plan would integrate designated open spaces on currently unoccupied portions of Harlem River Yards to help offset potentially toxic effects of inevitable storm surges flooding the current businesses that lease space (including the power plant, the waste transfer station, the FedEx hub and the NY Post printing/distribution center.
effect threats to the borough’s electrical grid infrastructure given that most of the Southern Bronx ConEd power plants are located in and around this area. The potential for the destruction of this grid can be seen in the example of what happened to the 14th Street
ConEd station during Hurricane Sandy.
2020 NYC Comprehensive Waterfront Plan – In 1997, the City Planning Commission established the city’s first mixed-use district in a five block area along Bruckner Boulevard near Harlem River
Yards. The rezoning was very successful, serving as a catalyst for strengthening the area’s emerging antique businesses (with new street furniture, trees and lamps) and allowing for the successful
development of approximately 185 new residential units, including 42 rehabilitated row houses, 36 new residential units and the renovation of the Estey Piano Factor (aka “Clock Tower”) with over 100 converted residential lofts. Building on the success of the 1997 rezoning, a further 11 blocks directly adjacent to Harlem River Yards was rezoned from manufacturing to mixed-use in 2005. Notably, the rezoned area even included a part of Harlem River Yards. The rezoning, supported by the Bronx Borough President and Community Board 1, was passed to reflect the current mixed-use character of the area, to bring new uses to underutilized land and buildings, to enable existing residencies to become conforming uses, to further the city’s housing initiative, to focus on improved
waterfront access and to create a vibrant 24/7 neighborhood by enhancing the pedestrian environment (transforming the area into a true “Gateway to the Bronx”). As a result of the rezoning, several multifamily buildings were renovated, additional warehouse spaces were converted to lofts and, notably, a 400+ residential unit was build (and is now occupied) directly across the street from Harlem River Yards.
of particular note, lines the Bronx Kill waterway, which has served as a
canoeing and kayaking destination for South Bronx community groups, who have
been forced to access the waterway from Randall’s Island despite its potential
access from the South Bronx shore. The Bronx Kill has also been included in Vision 2020 NYC Comprehensive Waterfront Plan as an area in which to explore improvements and support habitat restoration and, where feasible, the navigability of the Bronx Kill for kayaks and canoes.
climate change on the waterfront in the future. It is also within an area proposed for elimination from the SMIA designation and is included in Vision 2020 NYC Comprehensive Waterfront Plan.
residents expressed overwhelming enthusiasm for using this space for relaxation, celebrations and recreation. MIT produced a plan
for this waterfront site; see page 68 here, and renderings such as the above have been prepared by local architects. This site is also important because it is in a flood zone of an SMIA and was impacted by Hurricane Sandy with upwards of three feet of flooding. This proposal can help mitigate the effects of climate change and potential flooding of industry and waste transfer stations along the waterfront in the future. It is also within an area proposed to be
eliminated from SMIA designation and is included in Vision 2020.
D – Alexander Avenue Extension
This site is proposed to encompass from Alexander Avenue to Willis Avenue and from East 132nd Street to the Harlem River. This site would be an extension of the Lincoln Avenue Waterfront Park. The site is a vital part of the Mott Haven-Port Morris waterfront and is currently being used sporadically for a motorcycle training course that could easily be relocated to another site off of the waterfront. This coastal site is also important because it is located in a Zone B flood zone of an SMIA (and was impacted by Hurricane Sandy with upwards of three feet of flooding), and this proposal can help mitigate the effects of climate change and potential flooding
of industry and the waste transfer station on the waterfront in the future. Finally, this area was included in Vision 2020 NYC Comprehensive Waterfront Plan.
it. It is already being used as an ad hoc fishing site. This coastal site is also important because it is located in a Zone B flood zone of an SMIA (which was impacted by Hurricane Sandy) and can help mitigate the effects of climate change and potential flooding of industry and electrical infrastructure on the waterfront in the future. Finally, this site was designated in the Vision 2020 NYC Comprehensive Waterfront Plan as an area of significance.
at the East River. The Historic Port Morris Gantries were recently recognized by the Historic Districts Council during its “Six to
Celebrate” program which identified projects on the basis of the architectural and historic merit of the area, the level of threat to the neighborhood, the strength and willingness of the local advocates and the potential for HDC’s preservation support to be meaningful.
been operating ferries across the East River from various points since 1886. To capitalize on Port Morris’ inclusion in a network of communities serviced by ferry, a market, hotels, restaurants and stables were constructed nearby in 1905.
out of business. The New York and College Point Ferry Company went out of business in 1918, though not entirely due to its obsolescence. George Ehret, Sr., the company’s founder, was understood to have been a financial supporter of German causes and was in Germany at the onset of World War I. As a result of his decision to stay there, the United States government considered him an enemy alien and seized his assets, including the ferry company.
the space as a priority area in Vision 2020 NYC Comprehensive Waterfront Plan. Finally, this coastal site is also important because it is located in a Zone B flood zone and was impacted by Hurricane Sandy with a significant water surge because of its location off of
the Long Island Sound. Given its close proximity to power stations, this proposal would serve to offset the effects of waterfront storm surges on the power grid.
Morris waterfront shoreline from Park Avenue in the west to East 135th Street in the east. The Mott Haven-Port Morris
Waterfront would benefit significantly from a bike/walk/run path along the entire shoreline from Park Avenue in the west to East 135th Street in the east which would connect the Park Avenue Boat Launch to the Lincoln Avenue Waterfront Park (extended by the Alexander Avenue Waterfront Park), which would lead to the open space adjoining the Bronx Kill waterway/boat launch and then continue to the East 132nd Street Pier and finally the Historic Port Morris Gantries. Providing connectivity between these vital waterfront access points in Mott Haven-Port Morris would assist in the success of each point. This coastal path is also important because it is located in a Zone B flood zone of an SMIA and can help mitigate the effects of climate change and potential flooding of industry and electrical infrastructure on the waterfront.