News 12 – The Bronx

THE BRONX –  August 19th 2018

Hundreds march against rezoning plans for Jerome Ave.

Hundreds of residents gathered Saturday for a march to voice their displeasure with the city’s rezoning plans for Jerome Avenue.

The Bronx Coalition for a Community Vision gathered at Keltch Park for the march and were represented by labor unions and community groups throughout the Bronx.

Residents say they are frustrated with the city’s plan and believe their requests for career track jobs, deeper affordable housing and anti-displacement policies have been ignored.

Community members released a report during the event that they believe will do more to prevent potential small business displacement along Jerome Avenue.

Some people at the march said they just want the city to consider the requests of the people who live in the Bronx and want what is best for their neighborhoods.

“This is the beginning of the End” Julio

 

 

 

IMG_0604

After surviving decades of hardship to remain in business, the planned rezoning for the Jerome Avenue corridor is threatening the continued existence of the automotive repair community.

After surviving decades of hardship to remain in business, the planned rezoning for the Jerome Avenue corridor is threatening the continued existence of the automotive repair community.

After enduring the burning of the south Bronx and being ignored by local and federal agencies that provided no support or resources for community/business development, hundreds of merchants in the Jerome Avenue corridor are being forced out and again being left to fend for themselves.

The City of NY is planning to rezone the Jerome Ave corridor where the majority of these small Latino and minority owned automotive businesses have called home for over a quarter of a century.

This rezoning plan places all of these businesses in danger of shutting down and losing their life investment and the livelihood that their families depend on.

As you speak to the merchants, it is widely evident along the avenue that without support or a coordinated plan, displacing these merchants will force many of them to go out of business.

While the rezoning plan has not been fully approved, the merchants are already being forced out by the current landlords who are cashing in by selling their buildings to developers.

The City of New York is not taking into serious consideration and respecting the fact that most of these small businesses have operated well within their industry guidelines, have paid their due taxes and operating fees and have employed over 2500 people/residents from all over The Bronx/city.

I believe in and support the community and economic development necessary to help raise the quality of life of Bronx residents and all New Yorkers.

But, I also believe that this new affordable housing and business SHOULD NOT be achieved by displacing all of the businesses that currently exist throughout the corridor.

A transition plan that includes true merchant input is without question, necessary for an honest and equitable transition.

This plan must also include assistance with relocation costs, compliance issues, equipment upgrades and staff/management training.

This is the only way that this Rezoning Plan will really work for all involved.

Let’s not repeat in The Bronx what happened to the merchants in Queens!

This is my humble opinion.

Pedro J. Estevez
President and Founder
United Auto Merchants Association