Boro’s Harlem River development secures fi nancial backing
BY JASON COHEN
On Tuesday, Nov. 5, developer
Dynamic Star appointed
Meridian Capital Group to
arrange equity and debt fi -
nancing for Fordham Landing,
a planned $3.5 billion development
along the Harlem
River in University Heights,
preparing it to be the largest
land assemblage along a New
York body of water by a private
The parcel is located in
Community Board 7, but directly
across from CB 5.
According to a study conducted
by the Association for
the Neighborhood and Housing
Development, 64.4 percent
of the residents in University
Heights/ Fordham are rent
The multi-phased development,
which would occupy
40 acres of mostly vacant
land separating the Harlem
River from the Major Deegan
Expressway, will total 2,380
residential units, consisting
of 1,660 free-market apartments
and 720 affordable
The development will
bring waterfront access to
Fordham Landing, which will be built along the Harlem River in University Heights. Photo Courtesy opf NYC EDC
the area and feature a revamped
Metro North station,
offi ce space, residential
units, a life sciences research
center, hotel, retail, e-sports
arena, student housing and a
The site is adjacent to the
Metro North station at West
Fordham Road and is located
near the University Heights
Bridge, which offers quick
access to Manhattan.
“Meridian’s fi rst mission
is to obtain $50 million of equity
for Fordham Landing,
followed by securing $100
million in debt fi nancing for
the multi-phased project,”
said Dynamic Star’s president
and CEO Gary Segal.
The riverfront will afford
boating access to residents
and will connect with the 25-
acre Roberto Clemente Park,
which offers sports, cultural
activities and a playground.
Additionally, the Metro
North station currently situated
below grade at West
Fordham Road will be enlarged,
raised to street level. The
community’s various components
are expected to
span 5,000,000 square feet.
Construction is expected
to begin early 2022.
“The initial reactions we
have received are enthusiastically
positive,” Segal said.
“We understand this is a lot
to digest for the many stakeholders,
so we are eager to
proceed deliberately to ensure
that all questions and
concerns are addressed.”
CB7 district manager
Ischia Bravo said she has
concerns that the large
scale project could impact
the community’s infrastructure,
price people out
and possibly create congestion.
But, ultimately, it is too
early to reach such a verdict,
At a later date the board
plans to have the developer
at a hearing before the full
She pondered how tall
the buildings will be and
would they be out of context
with the surrounding
She stressed there be
needs to be a traffi c study
and the board would need
to hear how the NYC Planning
about the project.
Yes, it could benefi t the
neighborhood, but it could
also disrupt it, she said.
“What does a project of
that magnitude mean for
the community?” Bravo
said. “We need to make sure
that it’s built appropriately.
It will change the dynamics
of the area.”
BRONX W www.BXTimes.com EEKLY November 17, 2019 2
AOC town hall discusses gentrifi cation, hospitals, education
BY JASON COHEN
Gentrifi cation, healthcare and
education were the primary topics
residents discussed at a town hall
hosted by Representative Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez last week.
The event was held Wednesday,
November 6 at P.S. 71, Rosa E. Scala
School, 3040 Roberts Avenue.
The outspoken congresswoman
began her talk by briefl y explaining
her poverty legislation, titled
A Just Society, which involves fi ve
bills and a resolution dealing with
how to improve jobs, immigration
and the economy.
The audience of just over 50
concerned residents was calm as
people were eager to chat with their
One resident named Darius, who
went to school at P.S. 71, said his sister
is a teacher who often spends
way too much money on supplies.
He asked the congresswomanwhat
could be done to better fund education.
“First of all we need to pay them
(teachers) more,” she said.
According to the congresswoman,
the problem with fi nding
money for schools is that the ‘bag’
often gets passed from the federal,
to the state and then to the city. Ultimately,
it’s like a game of telephone,
“We need to fully fund public
schools,” she exclaimed.
Austin Hill asked Ocasio-Cortes
how she feels about universal
basic income. He noted that it
could benefi t many people in society,
including himself, who are
being priced out of their neighborhoods.
In a single income household
it can be quite challenging,
“When it comes to UBI, there’s
more than one way to go about it,”
the congreeswoman said.
Ocasio-Cortes explained that
if the federal government gave
people a $1,000 a month for example,
the government might get
rid of programs like the Special
Supplemental Nutrition Program
for Women, Infants, and Children
(WIC). Furthermore, how far can
$1,000 really get people a month?
While it can help, it can only go so
far, she said.
Ocasio-Cortes said it’s important
for people to work, but not everyone
can. Some are caretakers,
others are disabled or sick.
Another topic discussed was
the disparity in funding for private
and public hospitals.
Kelly Cabrera, a nurse at Jacobi
Medical Center, asked the congresswoman
how this issue could be resolved.
The congresswoman said there
is no panacea for fi xing the funding
between private and public hospitals
offering the implementation of a single
payer healthcare system as a possible
“NYC used to have a rich tradition
of public hospitals, especially
here in the Bronx and they slowly
were gutted over time,” she said.
She stressed that everyone should
have healthcare regardless of how
much he or she makes or his or her
legal status. Furthermore,she explained,
cracks in the system happen
when the government decides who is
or isn’t eligible for healthcare.
Gentrifi cation, which is credited
as a key factor in her winning her
congressional seat, was brought up
by Reverend Marilyn Oliver who
asked if it is good or bad for the borough.
“There are people that live in this
community because they want to live
in this community,” the congresswoman
said. “That’s what makes the
Bronx the Bronx. It (gentrifi cation)
creates a transient community. It
Darius Longarino asks about funding schools. Schneps Media/Jason Cohen