BRONX, NY-A plan to add 11 blocks to the Port Morris area here has begun the public review process. The Department of City Planning proposed expanding the mixed-used district to “build on the area’s character and encourage needed housing growth.” According City Planning head Amanda Burden, new workers and residents would “help to further strengthen and revitalize the neighborhood.” According to the plan specifics, the city views the site as a “gateway to the Bronx.”

Currently, the area is a combination of industrial, commercial and residential buildings at the southern tip of the borough. With more than one third of the lots in the proposed rezoning area vacant or underutilized, the city feels the plan would promote new mixed-use development and help create a 24/7 neighborhood where there already is ample infrastructure and transit services to accommodate it.

Approximately 400 new residential units are expected to be created through conversion and new development. The proposed zoning would allow a variety of uses at appropriate scale to current buildings throughout much of the district and would permit additional density on the larger lots near the water’s edge. A 1997 mixed-use zoning, the first ever in the city, covered five blocks that were zoned for manufacturing and did not permit residential use. These blocks have since become known for their Antique Row along Bruckner Boulevard and Lincoln Place with some residential use.

“It is heartening to see how mixed-use zoning has contributed to the resurgence of this neighborhood,” adds Burden. Community Board 1 plans to hold a public hearing on Oct. 28 at Lincoln Hospital. This is just part of a city-wide rezoning effort that covers other neighborhoods including West Chelsea, the Hudson Yards and Greenpoint-Williamsburg.

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