Information about this lot
Why is this lot here?
We think this lot is vacant because:
Housing Preservation and Development is not granting interim licenses now. The only way to have the community access this lot is by getting it transferred to another agency. Look below for Pathways that will guide you.
You can call Mr. Weinstein at the number listed above and find out if there are any plans for this lot. He's the Director of Planning for HPD in the Bronx. It's best to call him on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
This lot is part of the Melrose Commons urban renewal plan.
$10 million of New York State funding is heading to this part of the city! I learned about it here: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/bronx-civic-center-10m-cuomo-revitalization-plan-article-1.3510845
The article says: "A local planning team will use $300,000 from the award to develop a strategic investment plan on how best to use the remaining funds to improve the area."
Maybe investing in this location to make it the public community space that you and your neighbors want can be part of the plan!
The article also says: '“With this funding, the South Bronx will have the opportunity to reach its full potential using community-based efforts to strengthen our neighborhoods,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.'
You could start trying to direct the funding here by contacting BP Ruben Diaz's office. Try James Rausse, the office's Director of Planning & Development: (718) 590-3514. You can ask about being part of this local planning team mentioned in the news, and ask that you be kept in the loop in the process. Make sure you get the name of who you speak to and their email address so you can follow up, too. When you write to follow up after you call, you can copy email@example.com to your email for support. You can record notes from your call on the lot page here. Good luck!
To transform this lot into a garden, you will need to mobilize the City agencies to transfer the parcel to the Parks Department. A new organizer just signed up to work on this lot. Here is what we told him:
You will need to organize your neighbors to create a campaign that will convince the Parks Department that your community group will be successful stewards. You will need:
A mission or vision statement that lists benefits to the community;
A letter from Community Board 3 in support of the project and group; contact Brxcomm3@optonline.net / 718-378-8054 ), district manager: John Dudley to get on the agenda of the Parks Committee; if you are emailing, copy me.
A name for the proposed garden/group being formed to look after the garden;
List of community members interested in the project (at least 10 names, addresses, phone numbers, emails);
Sketch or rendering of project
Signatures on a petition from as many people as you can get.
List of partners/sponsors/endorsers (including churches, school, local business, city agencies, etc.); having local block associations on board would be key here!
You might also be able to get a letter of support from GreenThumb. Once you have a group together, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know what you are aiming to do.
I visited the lovely Parks Committee of Bronx Community Board 3 last Wednesday evening to share info about 596 Acres work, our publication A New York City Advocate's Guide to Land Access (http://www.596acres.org/news/2014/05/06/introducing-a-new-york-city-advocates-guide-to-community-land-access/), and a district-specific map (http://www.596acres.org/en/about/596-acres-archive/). I learned that if a group of neighbors is interested in creating a campaign to get access to a space and wants the support of the board, they should call the office and be connected with the folks on the Parks Committee. The committee alone believes they would have the power to write a letter of support - they would just need to check in with the City themselves and think about how realistic and imminent development is. Overall, this committee seemed frustrated with the lack of transparency from the City when it comes to how they plan to use public land and would love to see more community open space.
I never heard back from Laura, so I'm not sure if she's interested anymore. There was another neighbor I connected her with, but he is focused on another awesome lot: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/6000020001/
Tonight, however, I'm heading to Bronx Community Board 3's Parks Committee meeting where I'll share some maps that 596 Acres has made for the community district, and this lot is highlighted on the map! Maybe that will draw in some neighbors...
We got a call from Laura who walks by this lot on her way home every day! She is super interested in leading a campaign to see if this lot can be transferred to the Parks Department.
Give me a call at 718-316-6092 ext 3 or email email@example.com if you want to get involved!
The community board got back to me but said they didn't know anyone at the church and didn't have any updated phone number.... Hmm... If anyone either knows someone at the church or just wants to organize around this space, reach out to me!
718-316-6092 ext 3
I haven't been able to get a hold of this church and now today the number is disconnected! I left a voicemail with the community board (718-378-8054) to see if they could connect me with the congregation.
I haven't heard from Raven, but I called the church next door today. The line just rang and rang, but I'm sure no one's there due to the weather! I'll try again Thursday.
River Tabernacle Prayer House (
The garden startup is coming along good. I have 7 out of the 10 signatures
needed. I haven't spoke to the lady next door yet, because of my work
schedule I ddnt wanna knock on her door late. But will be doing her and the
church this Sunday as it is one of my days off.
Hey Raven! How's organizing coming along? I tried to call both your numbers but they just rang and rang.
Last week I spoke to Raven who is a Bronx-based urban gardener who would love to turn this lot into a garden for the children of the neighborhood to learn about growing plants. She's already been speaking to the church next door and talking to people about getting started! Contact me at 718-316-6092 ext 3 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get looped in!
Yesterday we labeled this lot! We spoke to a neighbor named Maria who thinks a garden here is a nice idea, and who said she'd call Housing Preservation and Development to ask about it. We also spoke with Alberta from the church on the corner. She is going to make an announcement at her next church service to see who would like to help! It's time for a meeting!