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Press Release

Mayor Adams, Hunts Point Community Leaders Release Comprehensive Plan to Create Economic Opportunity, Improve Quality of Life in Hunts Point

Jun 15 2022
Community Leaders Release Hunts Point Forward Vision

Backed by a $40 Million Commitment from Mayor Adams, ‘Hunts Point Forward’ Outlines Vision Shared by City and Community with over 70 Short- And Long-Term Recommendations

Plan Delivers on Commitment in Mayor Adams’ Blueprint for NYC’s Economic Recovery

HUNTS POINT, BRONX—New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Hunts Point community leaders today released ‘Hunts Point Forward,’ a comprehensive plan to create economic opportunity and improve quality of life for New Yorkers in the Hunts Point neighborhood of the South Bronx. Backed by an initial $40 million commitment from Mayor Adams, the plan outlines a 15-year vision shared by the city and the community with more than 70 short- and long-term recommendations for creating family-sustaining jobs, improving public safety, enhancing community health and access to healthy food, promoting environmental justice, and delivering upgrades to open space, transportation, and other key community infrastructure.

“My vision for the city’s economic comeback starts right here in Hunts Point, in a community that kept the entire city fed during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Adams. “This plan delivers immediate support and a long-term vision to make sure Hunts Point residents have the public safety, health care access, and green space that all New Yorkers deserve. I want to thank Councilmember Salamanca for his leadership in this process and all of the community organizations and residents who took time to build this plan with us from the ground up; I look forward to working with all of them to continue to ‘Get Stuff Done.’”

“Today, the Adams administration is doubling down on our commitment to Hunts Point and to the families, small businesses, community-based organizations, and local stakeholders who make the neighborhood so unique,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “I applaud this comprehensive and community-driven plan and believe that these investments will power a more equitable recovery and a better future for Hunts Point.”

“‘Hunts Point Forward’ is a plan for the community, made by the community,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation CEO and President Andrew Kimball. “We thank all who were part of the planning process. Together, we share a vision for a better tomorrow and look forward to improving quality of life and spurring equitable economic development in Hunts Point.”

“Building a more equitable city starts with listening to and funding those communities that have traditionally been underserved,” said New York City Councilmember Rafael Salamanca. “With the historic announcement of $40 million for the Hunts Point community, the Adams administration is providing a platform for the local community to weigh in on how a significant infusion of city funds will be used in their neighborhood. When we launched the ‘Hunts Point Forward’ plan several years ago, we envisioned a thorough and transparent process that gave the residents of Hunts Point a seat at the table. Today’s announcement is the result of that community-driven initiative. I thank Mayor Adams, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and all of my constituents who made this day possible.”

Building on the city’s previous work in Hunts Points and shared goals of centralized coordination and accountability, ‘Hunts Point Forward’ offers 73 short- and long-term recommendations shaped by extensive community input. Last year, NYCEDC and several city agencies, Councilmember Salamanca, the Pratt Center for Community Development, and the Hunts Point-Longwood Community Coalition (HPLWCC) led extensive outreach to hear from residents and community-based organizations about the community’s needs and priorities. Engagement included remote and in-person public events, community board briefings, a community survey that received more than 400 responses, three public workshops, and focus group meetings conducted in English and Spanish.

‘Hunts Point Forward’ delivers on a key commitment that Mayor Adams made in his Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery to invest $140 million in Hunts Point infrastructure and community priorities, including $40 million in city capital funding that Mayor Adams has allocated for investments in local open space and infrastructure. As part of the plan, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation will upgrade Barretto Point Park — providing more park space for visitors, restoring a portion of shoreline, and making the park more resilient.

In addition, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) will address the history of crashes on Hunts Point Avenue involving pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers by redesigning the roadway to make it safer for pedestrians to cross the street and encourage drivers to slow down. DOT will also close a gap in the Hunts Point Avenue bike lane between East Bay Avenue and Randall Avenue and complete a survey to inform improvements that will be made to street lighting.

Key recommendations in the plan include:

  • Making the neighborhood safer by improving street lighting and redesigning key streets and intersections for street safety;
  • Connecting Hunts Point residents to local industrial jobs through a variety of workforce development strategies, including a partnership between the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and Food Distribution Center tenants to broaden access to open positions;
  • Increasing access to affordable fresh produce through youth-run farm stands and a new grocery store in The Peninsula redevelopment;
  • Expanding health care access through pop-up health clinics and screenings, as well as a permanent health care facility in The Peninsula redevelopment project;
  • Making the neighborhood a model of industrial sustainability and resiliency, while addressing decades of environmental injustices, by continuing to invest in facilities within the Food Distribution Center that are vulnerable to climate change, identifying the next phase of resiliency investments, and continuing to advocate for funding to redevelop the produce market into a modern facility;
  • Closing the Vernon C. Bain Correctional Center, an 800-bed jail barge, and starting a community engagement process to repurpose the adjoining city-owned parking lot; and
  • Expanding open space and enhancing area parks and green spaces, including expanding access to Barretto Point Park.

As the relevant city agencies partner on the capital projects and key programmatic initiatives in ‘Hunts Point Forward,’ the city will continue advocating for state and federal funding to help address the community’s and the city’s most pressing needs.

“Through the ‘Hunts Point Forward’ plan, we are thrilled to work with our elected officials and our sister agencies to make this community better than ever before and bring some much-needed renovations to Barretto Point Park,” said New York City Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Susan M. Donoghue. “With the renovations coming through this newly announced funding, this park and shoreline will be more resilient for the protection of the surrounding community and open up 16,000 square feet of new greenspace, which will benefit residents for years to come.”

“Under this administration, DOT is committed to equity and ensuring all neighborhoods in the city benefit from our life-saving safety projects,” said DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “We are proud to play a part in ‘Hunts Point Forward’ to deliver critical pedestrian improvements in the neighborhood. We thank Mayor Adams and EDC President and CEO Kimball for their leadership on this great plan.”

“Long-term community planning is essential for building economic opportunity and ensuring quality of life,” said SBS Commissioner Kevin D. Kim. “The ‘Hunts Point Forward’ plan will create jobs and connect locals to training and development through the Hunts Point Workforce1 Career Center. This plan will also make Hunts Point a shining example for industrial sustainability and resiliency.”

“‘Hunts Point Forward’ is a great example of the power of community planning,” said New York City Department of City Planning Director and City Planning Commission Chair Dan Garodnick. “We look forward to ongoing collaboration with our sister agencies and the community to create a brighter, more equitable future for Hunts Point.”

“Health is promoted by the environment around us, which should always include access to nutritious foods, economic opportunity and ample space for fun and exercise,” said New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “Putting community at the helm will make this plan sustainable and successful. Local residents have the knowledge and insight to make a healthier neighborhood — which will lead to a healthier city.”

“‘Hunts Point Forward’ is an exciting plan that demonstrates many of the core values of the Adams administration. It connects essential food distribution businesses to local residents through job opportunities and expanded healthy food access,” said Kate MacKenzie, executive director, Mayor’s Office of Food Policy. “Moreover, the plan, shaped by community voices, is a major step for health equity. Congratulations on a job well done.”

“After years of historic neglect and disinvestment, our Hunts Point community is finally getting the community-centered facelift it deserves,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson. “The ‘Hunts Point Forward’ plan is focused on addressing economic development; building generational wealth; creating sustainable, good-paying jobs; investing in education, parks, and open spaces; and creating a plan that builds on our community’s priorities to strengthen our families and build the next generation of future leaders. I want to thank Councilmember Rafael Salamanca Jr., the Hunts Point-Longwood Community Coalition, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and all the other stakeholders involved for their commitment, dedication, and labor of love in bringing this plan into fruition.”

“It is thanks to the persistence and dedication of the Hunts Point community that this plan has come to fruition, and for that I am incredibly grateful,” said New York State Senator Alessandra Biaggi. “For years, Hunts Point and the South Bronx have endured neglect and divestment — forced to bear the brunt of the pandemic and other crises alone. The ‘Hunts Point Forward’ plan is a welcome change that will make crucial investments in infrastructure, economic development, healthcare, food access, and green space — strengthening our community and allowing for it to prosper. I’d like to thank NYCEDC, the Hunts Point-Longwood Community Coalition, elected officials, and community members involved in advancing this plan and look forward to its implementation.”

“The ‘Hunts Point Forward’ plan is an important step towards delineating a massive investment in the Hunts Point community,” said New York State Senator Luis Sepúlveda. “Historically, Hunts Point, and the South Bronx at large, have not received such massive investments as in other places. This plan is a multidisciplinary effort to upgrade the quality of life of Hunts Point residents, including its vision to remodel the Hunts Point Market, the inclusion of a new Metro-North station, investments in renewable energy, and creation of new jobs for local residents. As the New York state senator representing Hunts Point, I am hopeful for the future of my district and the future envisioned by this plan.”

“The ‘Hunts Point Forward’ plan will bring major investments and developments to the Hunts Point community,” said New York State Assemblymember Kenny Burgos. “After years of neglect, Hunts Point will soon see historic changes that will only improve the quality of life for its residents, such as job creation, green spaces, and enhanced park access. I thank all involved who helped make this plan a reality, and I look forward to seeing its completion.”

“‘Hunts Point Forward’ is centering the Hunts Point community in the conversation on housing, educational, environmental, and economic rights of our residents,” said New York State Assemblymember Amanda Septimo. “For so long, Hunts Point has been home to a rich industrial and residential community, and I am glad to see their needs being prioritized in the Hunts Point Forward Plan. I thank New York City Economic Development Corporation, the Pratt Center for Community Development, The Point Community Development Corporation, the Hunts Point-Longwood Community Coalition, and all the community members ensuring Bronxites are being considered in all stages of the peninsula’s planning. It is exciting to see Hunts Point at the forefront of environmental and economic improvements after enduring decades of toxic air pollutants and overwhelming truck fleets on their commutes to school, work, and home. This plan is another step towards empowerment of South Bronx residents, putting their interests first.”

“I am proud to see NYCEDC and the City of New York prioritizing the South Bronx with the release of their 15-year vision for the Hunts Point community,” said New York City Councilmember Amanda Farías, chair, Committee on Economic Development. “As the chair of the Committee on Economic Development and a born-and-raised Bronxite, I am dedicated to improving the Bronx for the Bronx. This plan addresses the most critical needs of the neighborhood by facing the issues of food Insecurity and environmental justice head on. Thank you to Mayor Eric Adams and Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer for your vision and focus on the South Bronx, a community who has long needed and is more than deserving of these long-term investments, and the Hunts Point Market itself that has had no investments made in over 50 years.”

“‘Hunts Point Forward’ has been a great effort led by NYCEDC in partnership with the local community including key stakeholders such as the Councilmember Rafael Salamanca Jr, the HPLWCC and Community Board 2,” said Ralph Acevedo, district manager, Community Board 2. “They have engaged with us since the beginning, even during difficult moments such as the COVID-19 pandemic. We are happy that NYCEDC led this initiative and happy to continue conversations about moving ‘Hunts Point Forward.’”

“We couldn’t be more excited about the release of the ‘Hunts Point Forward’ plan, as it represents an important step for this neighborhood,” said Haydee Morales, executive director, Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education. “From the beginning, the community led this planning effort and worked with NYCEDC for the past year to make sure that the community’s voice was front and center. We now have a shared vision for the neighborhood’s future, and we are looking forward to working with the city and the community to bring its recommendations to life.”

“Forged through decades of fighting disinvestment, Hunts Point’s activist community showed up yet again to support the ‘Hunts Point Forward’ process,” said Lena Afridi, acting director Pratt Center for Community Development. “It is the community organizations with their deep networks that helped us navigate through the challenging waves of the pandemic to safely connect with residents and local businesses, to learn what their priorities are and which solutions they believe would best help their community. We look forward to seeing this partnership between the city and Hunts Point continue through implementation of the plan.”

“The Hunts Point community has historically and creatively come together to not only assess the reality of the burdens we live with here, but also where they come from,” said Maria Torres, president and CEO, The Point Community Development Corporation. “In this same way, so many came together in the ‘Hunts Point Forward’ planning. In our city, especially neighborhoods that are already overburdened and impoverished, like ours, where the very aspects that could make our community beautiful and resilient make our community a target, it is critical that we engage only in processes that are led by those it impacts. A plan is at its best when it clearly and effectively channels and prioritizes the aspirations of that same community. This has been one way to take a larger deeper look into not just the existing conditions, but where there is energy to ensure the infrastructure and projects that come to Hunts Point are only those which are community driven and implemented.”

“Urban Health Plan is proud to be part of ‘Hunts Point Forward,’ a substantive and transformative plan for our community,” said Paloma Hernandez, president and CEO, Urban Health Plan. “The social drivers of health, including housing, health care, jobs, green spaces, and access to healthy foods, are all inseparable issues; and for any one of us to prosper, we must have access to each of these basic and fundamental things. I want to thank Councilmember Salamanca, the mayor’s office, NYCEDC, the Hunts Point-Longwood Community Coalition, and community residents, who have all been part of this process.”

“‘Hunts Point Forward’ has been an ambitious and comprehensive effort to embrace the key issues of vital importance to all sectors that live or work in Hunts Point,” said Don Eversley, executive director, Greater Hunts Point Economic Development Corporation. “I am hopeful that the many fine recommendations will become priorities and are backed by sufficient funding to achieve real impact. From my perspective, closing the Vernon C. Bain Center prison barge, re-purposing vacant city-owned land, improving vehicular circulation and parking, and making better connections between Hunts Point workers and local industrial jobs are some of the most important elements of the plan.”

“The Hunts Point community and the next generation are among the many big winners of the ‘Hunts Point Forward plan,” said Adam Green, founder and executive director, Rocking the Boat. “Our students take environmental justice issues seriously, and this plan intends to do something practical about them. Our students spend time in the nature of Hunts Point — on the water of course, but also in local parks and green spaces — and this plan will improve those spaces and promote the community’s well-being. The commitment that ‘Hunts Point Forward’ makes to leverage the beauty and opportunity that already exists in Hunts Point speaks volumes, and the Hunts Point community is listening.”

“This plan is an important strategic tool for Hunts Point, the city of New York, and our community organizations,” said Natasha Atkins, executive director, Hunts Point Alliance for Children. “Having a shared vision between our community and the city will open up dialogue and encourage collaborative approaches that will help create a safer, cleaner, more accessible living space for our residents. We welcome this initiative and look forward to working with our stakeholders and government partners on these issues. I also want to show my appreciation to our community groups for giving a voice to our Hunts Point residents.”

“The vision of Hunts Point Forward is created by and for members of the community,” said Jennifer Mitchell, executive director, HOPE Program.This plan leverages the resilience, creativity, and solidarity of Hunts Point to drive greater economic and environmental justice. We could not be more proud to have partnered on this vision and we are eager to roll up our sleeves to make Hunts Point Forward a reality.”

About NYCEDC
New York City Economic Development Corporation is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization that creates shared prosperity across New York City by strengthening neighborhoods and creating good jobs. We work with and for communities to bring emerging industries to New York City; develop spaces and facilities for businesses; empower New Yorkers through training and skill-building; and invest in sustainable and innovative projects that make the city a great place to live and work. To learn more about what we do, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.