Hunts Point, NY— New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) selected a team led by the Pratt Center for Community Development to help facilitate an ambitious community engagement process to update the 2004 Hunts Point Vision Plan. This update will build on the original Vision Plan, which led to City investments in new waterfront parks, safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists, hundreds of new jobs and workforce opportunities, and improved air quality through reduced pollution.
During the next 18 months, NYCEDC and City agencies, in partnership with City Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. and Pratt Center, will work with the Hunts Points community to identify ways to bring economic opportunity and new amenities to the neighborhood. Starting this spring, NYCEDC and Pratt Center will host a series of public workshops and meetings to gather input and feedback to address community needs and priorities.
Pratt Center has worked in the South Bronx for over 30 years, developing and facilitating planning workshops with diverse groups of local stakeholders to identify communities’ needs and aspirations for open space, affordable housing, commercial corridors, infrastructure, public health, and environmental sustainability. For this update, Pratt Center is teaming with Barretto Bay Strategies, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, Mainland Media, and the Hunts Point & Longwood Community Coalition, a group of community-based organizations focused on improving the lives of people in the South Bronx. The Coalition’s members have a long history of bringing together community stakeholders to effect change.
Beyond the recommendations outlined in the 2004 Vision Plan, NYCEDC and City agencies are advancing a number of important projects in Hunts Point:
- Redevelopment of the Spofford Juvenile Detention Center into The Peninsula, mixed-use campus with over 700 affordable homes, public open space, commercial and community facility space, and industrial jobs
- Planning for a new Hunts Point Metro-North Railroad station that will connect local residents via public transit to jobs and destinations in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley, and Connecticut
- Committing $67 million to upgrade the Hunts Point Wastewater Treatment Plant to improve air quality and energy efficiency
- Protecting New York City’s food supply by providing back-up power to critical facilities in the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center through a tri-generation microgrid
- Enhancing social resiliency by implementing solar energy and storage at two neighborhood schools, which can serve as community gathering spaces during emergencies
- Planning for a new marine barge terminal to reduce truck travel and create jobs for Bronx residents – an initiative of the City’s Freight NYC plan for strategic investments in this critical sector of the economy
“Hunts Point is a vibrant community that is driving economic growth for all of New York City,” said NYC Economic Development Corporation President and CEO James Patchett. “The 2004 Hunts Point Vision Plan resulted in significant investments in the area, from resiliency and job growth to affordable housing and new waterfront parks. Working with Council Member Salamanca Jr., the Pratt Center and community members, we look forward to building on this success and identifying new ways to bring economic opportunity and amenities to the neighborhood over the next 20 years.”
“We’re excited to be partnering with the City and the community to update the Hunts Point Vision Plan; the original plan was an outstanding achievement for community engagement and consensus-building, and we are enthusiastic to build on that work,” said Elena Conte, Deputy Director for the Pratt Center for Community Development. “We’re especially excited about the team with which we are a part and the unique perspective and talents each of the members bring. We are very much looking forward to working with the community and NYCEDC to create an updated plan that addresses the current issues of Hunts Point in an intersectional and holistic way.”
Hunts Point is a thriving residential and industrial neighborhood with over 12,000 residents, 18,000 workers, and the largest wholesale food distribution facility in the country. Over the past two decades, over 1,000 new industrial jobs have been created, 14 acres of new waterfront open space has opened, local workforce participation has increased by more than five percent, and the unemployment rate has decreased by over 50 percent.