School proposed housing for Church in Kingsbridge – Bronx Times

A former church site in Kingsbridge could have a future as a school and affordable residential area.

The New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) presented Community Board 8 Land Use Committee on Dec. 7 with a proposed school location for the former parking lot of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church on John Collins Place between 239th Street and South Van Cortlandt Park. The school would accept 646 students.

“We are working with the developer who owns the entire property, including the former church site, but our project on the John Collins section would be a separate building and independent of their development plans,” said Nicole Holloway, SCA Bronx Community Relations Manager CB8.

But the private developer – TS Communities, Tishman Speyer’s affordable housing division, which announced its first project, Edgemere Commons last month – did not buy the property, which is still owned by the archdiocese, a spokesman for the international development company confirmed for the Bronx Times.

“TS Communities and the New York City School Construction Authority are collaborating on a potential redevelopment of the former Visitation Parish Church site that would bring much-needed school space and quality, affordable housing to Kingsbridge,” the spokesman said in a statement.

The developer is considering building 340 units, Democrat Jeffrey Dinowitz, a state representative, told the Bronx Times. There is a need for housing, but Dinowitz said it was an exaggeration to have concentrated so many units on a single plot of land consisting of a parking lot, a former church and a former school.

Dinowitz said he has been campaigning for a school to be built on this site for several years. “It’s literally at the intersection of four different school zones in our district, all of which are crowded,” he said.

The legislature assumed that the residential development would probably contribute to the financing of the school construction.

CB8 member Rosemary Ginty said the combined use of school and housing poses important land use issues given the traffic around the site.

“I think this is a pretty heavy school,” said Ginty, who also sits on CB8’s land use committee. “That is good news, but something that you have to look at, especially in connection with a new housing estate that we don’t know about.”

In response, Zeeshan Ott, SCA Director for Foreign Affairs stressed that the school plan is separate from the developer’s adjoining residential plans for the same property.

But Ginty wasn’t convinced and called it impossible for a developer to plan neighboring locations independently. “I wasn’t born yesterday,” she said.

Gayle Mandero, SCA’s senior director of real estate, said SCA will coordinate with the neighboring project as it would with any residential neighbors.

“Do I know your design? No, I don’t know. “Said Mandero.” Are we going to vote so that we are safe and legal, and fire-brigade-compliant and everything else? Absolutely. “

School District 10 has a seating requirement of 2,925, the highest in the Bronx. According to Holloway, 2,060 of these seats are in the Kingsbridge-Norwood-Bedford Park subdistrict. Demand is calculated by SCA to predict when and where additional space will be needed by assessing school capacity and future school enrollment projections, including increased demand due to planned new housing.

Ginty said the board had not received a proposal for a new school in the 14 years she has been a member. Sylvia Alexander, chair of the CB8 education committee, said the board was promised a new 456-seat school a decade ago, but no one could find a location.

The SCA doesn’t know which students would attend the school as the district lines would be determined by the city’s Department of Education once construction is complete, Ott said.

SCA would have to assess traffic, parking and other variables through the state environmental quality review, which Mandero says takes 4-6 months and has not yet started. She predicted the review would be completed by spring or early summer 2022.

Comments on the site proposal can be sent to [email protected] and will be accepted until January 3, 2022.

Reach Aliya Schneider at [email protected] or (718) 260-4597. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes.


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