After years of mismanagement and delays in the completion of Roberto Clemente Plaza at Third Avenue and 149th Street at The Hub, the borough’s oldest shopping district and Business Improvement District, The Third Avenue BID has been selected to oversee the plaza once completed.
Last year we exposed the incompetence behind the delays with getting the plaza completed which has taken 10 years to do so (and still isn’t completed) but thanks to the staff and leadership at the Third Avenue BID along with local elected officials including Councilman Rafael Salamanca Jr, construction is nearing completion.
Most importantly, however, is that the plaza will no longer be run by SoBro but will instead fall under the auspices of the Third Avenue BID which has already shown a proven track record of getting things done by being able to work with the various agencies involved in the project.
“From initial design through construction, the Roberto Clemente Plaza project has taken nearly 10 years to complete.” noted Michael Brady, Executive Director of the Third Avenue Business Improvement District. “We are optimistic that this long awaited community asset is finally going to be a resource for South Bronx residents and shoppers.”
“The Third Avenue Business Improvement District in partnership with Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Jr. is proud to have led the advocacy to push this public works project toward completion. From community visioning sessions to the latest meetings with the Interim Commissioner for the NYC Department of Design and Construction, the voice of our neighborhood have guided our planning, advocacy, and implementation of programming surrounding the plaza’s development. Furthermore, we are equally heartened that the plaza’s management, maintenance, and concession will be operated by the Third Avenue Business Improvement District. The mission of the BID is to lead with equity. Community-based control of public space is very important to an area’s development and growth, and a central component of he equity movement – the BID is happy to be an active part of this movement.”
The BID has already engaged with the New York Horticulture Society who will help maintain the plaza and the green elements of the space as well.
According to a recent meeting with DDC Interim Commission called by Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Jr. the plaza is expected to be completed by May 31, 2018 with the installation of public art to be completed by September 2018. During the meeting Michael Brady, Executive Director of the Third Avenue Business Improvement District stated that “the delays and excuses from the City of New York need to stop.” Brady continued, “the plaza will be an inspirational community asset; however, the delays and unresponsiveness from City government compounded by antiquated procurement policies leave area residents and businesses feeling that they are not on par with Manhattan or Brooklyn counterparts.”
Brady stated that the new DDC Commissioner is more transparent then her predecessors and has committed that the full completion of Roberto Clemente Plaza will be one of her agency’s top priorities.
A sculpture in memory of Roberto Clemente by local Bronx artist Melissa Calderon is scheduled to be installed towards the end of the year.
Personally, we look forward to the completion of this plaza and have the community enjoy this asset.