FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2020
Contact: Tobey Zaretsky, email@example.com, 201-788-2705
ULI NEW YORK RELEASES RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HOW A PROPOSED STADIUM IN THE SOUTH BRONX CAN CATALYZE A COMMUNITY-FOCUSED PLAN FOR NEIGHBORHOOD GROWTH
The report describes neighborhood-focused strategies highlighting community development and connectivity in and around the Jerome Avenue corridor in the South Bronx.
NEW YORK, NY – With New York City Football Club (NYCFC) reportedly nearing an agreement with the City of New York for the development of a new soccer stadium in the South Bronx, the Urban Land Institute New York (ULI NY) and Bronx Community Board 4 (CB4) today released a report outlining strategies and investments that should accompany any stadium development and that would positively impact the community in the area surrounding the proposed stadium site. The report, titled Bronx Community Board Four Technical Assistance Panel: Neighborhood-Focused Strategies for Future Growth, includes recommendations for stadium design and community programming, increasing use of public and alternative transit options, and improving neighborhood walkability and connectivity to open space and the waterfront.
ULI NY, at the request of Bronx CB4, convened a 10-member Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) to study the neighborhood, consider the potential impacts of a soccer stadium near Macombs Dam Park, and make recommendations as to the best approach the community could take to ensure that a new development would provide tangible benefits to local residents and become a connected and engaging addition to the neighborhood.
ULI NY’s panel of real estate professionals with development, design, finance, and legal expertise, studied the site, the briefing materials provided by Bronx CB4, and interviewed a wide variety of community stakeholders. The panel broke out their recommendations into three categories for Bronx CB4 to consider as the NYCFC stadium discussions progress: Design and Programming; Connectivity; and, Planning for a Community-Focused Neighborhood. All the strategies taken together provide the City of New York and the developers of the contemplated NYCFC stadium in the South Bronx with a road map for how to positively contribute to the neighborhood year-round.
More than Just a Stadium – Design and Programming
Due to the location of a proposed stadium, it would be extremely advantageous if the stadium becomes a multi-purpose asset for the community and serve a wider purpose outside of its primary role as venue for NYCFC home matches. The facility could serve as a community hub, a venue for health and wellness programs, business incubation, neighborhood sports activity, and so much more. In keeping with contemporary stadium design trends, the stadium should encourage the blending of the inside and outside experience. These design and programming considerations would also provide clear benefits to NYCFC, giving them the opportunity to build stronger bridges within the community.
Despite the notable access to multimodal transportation options within the study area, vehicular congestion remains a problem. It would be vital to take steps to encourage NYCFC fans to use public and alternative transportation options – including rail, bus, walking, and biking. This would better manage traffic flow and lessen the impact of vehicular congestion on game days. The existing transportation infrastructure, including rail lines and roadways, is critical for efficiently moving fans into and out of the neighborhood. As beneficial as the transportation options are, the existing infrastructure also creates a barrier between the neighborhood and any newly built waterfront amenities such as Bronx Point and the Bronx Children’s Museum. As development along the waterfront continues to expand, it is of utmost importance to build better and more innovative connections from the east side of the rail lines and the Major Deegan Expressway to the Jerome Avenue corridor and beyond.
Planning for a Community-Focused Neighborhood
It is necessary to improve connections, particularly pedestrian ones, as it lays out the groundwork for a more cohesive and unified neighborhood. Although the neighborhood is extremely walkable, many continue to choose vehicular transit due to the abundance of underutilized parking lots and structures and many shuttered businesses, especially outside of Yankees game days. With careful planning and targeted zoning changes, River Avenue could become a bustling, dense, mixed-use corridor. One of the report’s proposed zoning changes is the conversion of an underutilized parking structure that runs along River Avenue into a multi-story affordable housing unit. Implementing these new connections will help both community members and visitors seamlessly and actively experience all the neighborhood has to offer.
“The TAP team’s stakeholder interviews and experience tell us that a soccer stadium in the South Bronx will be most successful if it is more than just a sports venue. By designing and programming a stadium as a year round center of community activity while also using its development as a catalyst for physical improvements in the surrounding area, the stadium will significantly enrich the neighborhood as it also provides a singular experience for New York City soccer fans.” said Miriam Harris, Executive Vice President, Trinity Place Holdings Inc. and Chair for this TAP. “We thank CB4 for inviting us to work on this TAP and giving us the opportunity to share our recommendations.”
“As the City continues to the move forward with discussions of a NYCFC stadium the Community Board remains intent on ensuring that the community at large plays an active role in the determination of how city-owned property is utilized,” said Paul A. Philps, Bronx Community Board 4 District Manager. “We are so thankful to our partner, ULI NY, who convened a TAP of real estate and land use experts who presented us with thoughtful and thorough recommendations, that if executed in combination with other interventions could provide the foundation for a successful and beneficial community-focused planning process.”
“We are grateful that Bronx CB4 invited ULI NY to partner with them on this important project. The recommendations of our TAP volunteers will help the Board be even more effective and proactive advocates for their community during the public approval process around a new NYCFC stadium.” said ULI NY Chairman Steven Kohn, Vice Chairman, Cushman & Wakefield. “This is a great example of how ULI NY’s TAPs Program allows expert land use professionals to volunteer their time to provide advice and solutions to a community’s most complex land use issues.”
A full copy of the report is available here <LINK>.
About the ULI NY Technical Assistance Panels (TAPs) Program
The objective of ULI New York’s Technical Assistance Panels (TAPs) program is to provide expert, multidisciplinary, and objective advice on land use and real estate issues facing local governments, public agencies, and nonprofit organizations throughout New York State. Drawing from its extensive membership base, ULI New York conducts one- and two-day panels offering unbiased, pragmatic solutions, best practice advice, and market-based strategies to local decision-makers on a wide variety of complex land use challenges, ranging from site-specific projects to public policy questions. The TAPs program is intentionally flexible to provide a customized approach to specific land use and real estate issues.
About the Urban Land Institute New York
ULI New York provides leadership in the responsible use of land and in the creation of sustainable, thriving communities. ULI New York promotes an open exchange of ideas, information, and experience among industry leaders and policy makers dedicated to creating better neighborhoods. ULI offers in-depth analysis of current land use issues and educates real estate professionals on the impact of land use policies on the state’s future. The organization also invests in the professional and personal development of the next generation of community and real estate industry leaders. ULI New York carries out, at the local level, the mission of ULI, a global non-profit headquartered in Washington D.C with more than 47,000 members worldwide. For more information, visit https://newyork.uli.org/.