Senator Klein, Assemblyman Dinowitz, and Riverdale Community Announce New Start for Proposed Development at 6469 Broadway
Operator of Proposed Facility Drops Out; Legislators Pledge to Bring Riverdale Together Behind a New Project That All Sides Can Support
RIVERDALE, NY – Standing in front of the proposed 86 unit mix-use development in Riverdale, Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz, and Riverdale community leaders announced that Communilife, an important partner in the proposed development at 6469 Broadway, has backed out of the project.
The taxpayer-supported project first raised concerns at a July Community Board 8 Land Use Committee meeting. At the meeting, Riverdale residents first learned of the developer’s plans to mix senior apartments with housing for the “severely mentally ill.” Concerned about the facility’s impact on the community, Riverdale residents asked the developer to provide basic information about the facility’s size, security plan, and parking demands. Because the proposed site will also sit atop a state designated Brownfield, many community members also asked whether the construction would expose nearby families to harmful carcinogens and other toxins.
Senator Klein and Assemblyman Dinowitz met with members of the community, attended town halls, and pressed developers for answers to these and other questions. When the developers failed to give adequate answers, both legislators increased their opposition to the proposed project. With Communilife’s decision to back out of the development, Senator Klein and Assemblyman Dinowitz pledged to work with the developer and the community to develop a proposal that all sides can support.
Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) said, “When it comes to a project like this, working with the community is not only smart, it’s the right thing to do. These facilities place an enormous strain on the surrounding community, so when the planning is ham-handed, everyone suffers. It’s time for these developers to go back to the drawing board, engage the community, and design a project that everyone can be proud of. I’m committed to standing arm-in-arm with members of the Riverdale community until that happens.”
"I have always believed that the project as proposed was ill-advised. The location was not suitable for the 86 unit building consisting of housing for low-income elderly and supportive housing for people with severe mental illness. There is now an opportunity to go back to the drawing board,” said Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz (D-Riverdale) “I am hopeful that if a new proposal is put forth it will be a much more sensible one and will take into account the needs and wishes of the people residing in the surrounding community. I will continue to be a strong voice to help make sure that if anything is built on this site it will be an asset for the neighborhood."
Community Board 8 Member and Democratic Nominee for City Council, Andy Cohen said, "This is a great victory for the community and I am gratified that the concerns of the community were heard. We now have a real opportunity to engage in a real dialogue and come up with a project that will both be sensitive to the surrounding neighborhood and an asset to the community. I look forward to working with all interested parties to see that this parcel is developed in a way that we can all be supportive of."
Community Board 8, Chairman Bob Fanuzzi said, “Senator Jeff Klein has recognized that a twelve story building housing seniors and the mentally illis too much for a two lock stretch of upper Broadway that is already home to multiple-story housing for seniors and a facility for the mentally ill. On behalf of Community Board 8, I thank Senator Klein for hearing the concerns of the North Riverdale community and for hearing our questions regarding the size, site, and supportive programs within this proposed facility. Bringing publicly financed housing for the elderly and mentally ill into a neighborhood of single family homes is a sensitive process that requires careful planning, mutual understanding, and community outreach.”
"The Broadway Community Alliance formed in response to this development, which had left too many questions unanswered. We are grateful for Senator Klein's leadership in preventing this inappropriate plan from moving forward. We look forward to working with Senator Klein, Assemblyman Dinowitz and members of our community on this issue and others important to our neighborhood,” Community Board 8 Member and Member of the Steering Committee of the Broadway Community Alliance Laura Spalter.