After ‘years of historic neglect and disinvestment’ Hunts Point community getting a facelift

New York Construction Report staff writer

Hunts Point Forward, a comprehensive plan to create economic opportunity in South Bronx neighborhood will be backed by $40 million commitment from the City of New York.

“My vision for the city’s economic comeback starts right here in Hunts Point, in a community that kept the entire city fed during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mayor Adams said at a news conference. “This plan delivers immediate support and a long-term vision to make sure Hunts Point residents have the public safety, health care access and green space that all New Yorkers deserve.’”

It’s being called a community-driven plan “that will power a more equitable recovery and a better future for Hunts Point” with 73 short- and long-term recommendations and it follows the mayor’s Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery that included $140 million for Hunts Point infrastructure and community priorities. Adams already announced $40 million in city capital funding for local open space and infrastructure. As part of the plan, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation will upgrade Barretto Point Park — providing more park space for visitors, restoring a portion of shoreline, and making the park more resilient.

In addition, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) will address the history of crashes on Hunts Point Avenue involving pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers by redesigning the roadway and close a gap in the Hunts Point Avenue bike lane between East Bay Avenue and Randall Avenue and complete a survey to inform improvements that will be made to street lighting.

Key recommendations in the plan include:

  • Improving street lighting and redesigning key streets and intersections for street safety
  • Expanding health care access through pop-up health clinics and screenings, as well as a permanent health care facility in The Peninsula redevelopment project
  • Investing in facilities within the Food Distribution Center that are vulnerable to climate change, identifying the next phase of resiliency investments, and continuing to advocate for funding to redevelop the produce market into a modern facility
  • Closing the Vernon C. Bain Correctional Center, an 800-bed jail barge, and starting a community engagement process to repurpose the adjoining city-owned parking lot
  • Expanding open space and enhancing area parks and green spaces, including expanding access to Barretto Point Park

“After years of historic neglect and disinvestment, our Hunts Point community is finally getting the community-centered facelift it deserves,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson.

City agencies will now partner on the capital projects and key programmatic initiatives in ‘Hunts Point Forward,’ the city will continue advocating for state and federal funding to help address the community’s and the city’s most pressing needs.

Officials say Hunts Point Forward’ is a great example of the power of community planning that will create a brighter, more equitable future for the area.

“The ‘Hunts Point Forward’ plan is focused on addressing economic development; building generational wealth; creating sustainable, good-paying jobs; investing in education, parks, and open spaces; and creating a plan that builds on our community’s priorities to strengthen our families and build the next generation of future leaders. I want to thank Councilmember Rafael Salamanca Jr., the Hunts Point-Longwood Community Coalition, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and all the other stakeholders involved for their commitment, dedication, and labor of love in bringing this plan into fruition.”

The area has been home to a rich industrial and residential community. Historically, Hunts Point and the South Bronx have not received massive investments and advocates agree residents will benefit from the plan to remodel the Hunts Point Market, the inclusion of a new Metro-North station, investments in renewable energy, and creation of new jobs for local residents. As the New York state senator representing Hunts Point, I am hopeful for the future of my district and the future envisioned by this plan.

“The ‘Hunts Point Forward’ plan will bring major investments and developments to the Hunts Point community,” said New York State Assembly member Kenny Burgos. “After years of neglect, Hunts Point will soon see historic changes that will only improve the quality of life for its residents, such as job creation, green spaces, and enhanced park access. I thank all involved who helped make this plan a reality, and I look forward to seeing its completion.”

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