The top story this morning continues to be how community boards across New York City are striking down de Blasio’s zoning changes. Meanwhile, a look into the world of green taxis, Comptroller Scott Stringer thinks it’s fine time to shut down Rikers, 4 buildings get a new lease on life, and a peek inside the Bronx General Post Office and plans for the landmark.
It’s been almost 3 years since we first broke the story on the sale of the Bronx General Post Office and since then we’ve given you some sneak peeks into what it will look like on the outside and some select areas inside.
After the beloved landmark was up for sale, besides being protested by the community, folks made sure that the lobby received landmarking as well to protect this wonderful and historical community asset.
After Sale, What Comes Next for the Bronx General Post Office?
During the past year, most of its interior spaces have slowly been dismantled, with offices, lockers, and mailboxes auctioned off and hidden rooms and catwalks emptied out to make way for a different future.
The new version of the Bronx post office will be called Bronx Post Place, and it is being branded as “a crossroads for community, commerce, and culture.” Mindful of the building’s important role in the neighborhood’s fabric, and undoubtedly aware of the increasing wariness of gentrification and the “feeding frenzy” of development in the South Bronx, the new owners have created a cheerful, unthreatening plan for the structure, which will include a rooftop restaurant, a lobby marketplace, and flexible office spaces, all with an emphasis on local businesses and entrepreneurs. “Everybody that I’ve met in the Bronx has a story about the post office, whether they remember standing in line with their parents, or they have a relative that worked there,” said Christine Nebiar, the director of marketing and innovation for YoungWoo. “So it’s great that we will be able to give it a use that will keep in line with a community hub experience. And of course, the post office will still remain.” Read more over at Curbed
It’s time for de Blasio and Co to head back to the drawing board after city-wide rejections of zoning changes as part of his campaign to create and preserve 200,000 units of “affordable” housing.
The Daily News reports:
Mayor de Blasio’s affordable-housing plan has been given a Bronx cheer in four boroughs.
The Bronx Borough board — which includes the borough president, pols repping the borough and community leaders — voted unanimously Thursday against zoning changes that his plan requires.
The thumbs down comes just days after the Queens Borough Board also voted against the same zoning changes, which would require all new buildings in the city to have at least 20% to 30% of affordable housing in rezoned areas.
Also Thursday, more than two dozen Manhattan elected officials — including Borough President Gale Brewer and seven City Council members — released a letter to City Hall outlining their “major concerns” with the plan. Read the rest at The Daily News
Four Bronx apartment buildings considered among the city’s worst have undergone a transformation, changing the lives of residents in the process. NY1’s Erin Clarke got an exclsuive first look and filed the following report.
Lizbel Moronta describes living at 2239 Creston Avenue five years ago as a “horror movie.”
She and the other tenants like Francis Almonte were surrounded by squalor – doors off hinges, broken windows, crumbling ceilings.
“Really dirty. Really ugly and dangerous,” Almonte recalled. Head on over to watch the video and read the rest at NY1
Rikers Island, also known as the world’s largest penal colony is crumbling, and not just physically but it’s failing the population houses there through abuses sometimes which lead to death.
According to the Daily News, “Scandal-scarred Rikers Island is an “urban shame” that should be shut down, the city’s financial watchdog said Wednesday.
During a speech at The New School in Manhattan, City Controller Scott Stringer said it was time to close the notorious jail.
“Right now, Rikers Island is a case study in poor outcomes,” he said. “We need to create a system that is a national model, rather than an urban shame.”
Stringer cited crumbling buildings, skyrocketing cost and repeated reports of inmate abuse as primary reasons for a shutdown.
The inmate population has decreased enough for the city to find other places to jail people, he said — without giving any locations.”
Welcome2TheBronx asks, “Now where exactly would these inmates go? No one wants a jail in their backyard… Read the story at the Daily News
Still confused about green taxis? Erin Clark at NY1 has you covered. She reports:
“Lime green taxis have been cruising New York streets for two years now, but do you know the difference between a yellow and green taxi? NY1’s Erin Clarke filed the following report.
Nancy Soria has been driving people around New York for six years.
“I get to go to so many places, to parts of the city that I’ve never been to before and now I get to meet a lot of interesting people,” she said.
In 2013, Soria became a driver for the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s Borough Taxi Program aimed to improve service in areas yellow taxis typically don’t go, but Soria says many people in the places the program aims to serve don’t know how green taxis work.
The commission is trying to get the word out about the program that is the only legal way to catch a taxi without pre-arranging the trip.” Check out the rest of the story and video at NY1