Soundview, Bronx

Soundview, Bronx is located in Bronx
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Location of Soundview in New York City

Soundview is primarily a residential neighborhood geographically located in the South Central section of the Borough of The Bronx in New York City. The neighborhood is part of Bronx Community Board 9. Its boundaries, starting from the North and moving clockwise are the Cross-Bronx Expressway to the North, White Plains Road to the East, Lacombe Avenue to the South, and the Bronx River to the West. The Bruckner Expressway bisects the neighborhood along the center and the Bronx River Parkway runs North to South. Soundview Avenue is the primary thoroughfare through Soundview. The local subway is the 6 line, operating along Westchester Avenue. Zip codes include 10472 and 10473. The area is patrolled by the 43rd Precinct located at 900 Fteley Avenue. New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) property in the area is patrolled by P.S.A. 8 at 2794 Randall Avenue in the Throggs Neck section of The Bronx.

Contents

Demographics

Soundview is a high density neighborhood with a population over 75,000 within two square miles. The neighborhood has a relatively diverse population consisting primarily of Latin Americans, predominantly Puerto Ricans. Like most neighborhoods in New York City the vast majority of households are renter occupied.[1] Almost half the population lives below the poverty line and receives public assistance (AFDC, Home Relief, Supplemental Security Income, and Medicaid). However there is significant income diversity on a block by block basis.

Land Use And Terrain

Apartment buildings in Soundview with the Midtown Manhattan skyline in the background.

Soundview is dominated by large residential housing complexes of various types; primarily public housing and co-ops. There are also tenements primarily concentrated along the IRT Pelham Line El on Westchester Avenue and multi-unit row-houses surrounding similar to those found in Brownsville and East New York. In the last decade, construction of modern 2 and 3 unit row-houses and apartment buildings have increased the percentage of owners versus renters. The neighborhood contains one of the highest concentrations of NYCHA projects in the Bronx. The total land area is roughly two square miles. The terrain is low laying and flat.

Low-income public housing projects

  • There are nine NYCHA developments located in Soundview.[2]
  1. 1471 Watson Avenue; one 6-story building.
  2. Boynton Avenue Rehab; three rehabilitated tenement buildings, 3 and 6-stories tall.
  3. Sotomayor Houses; twenty-eight, 7-story buildings.
  4. Bronx River Houses; nine, 14-story buildings.
  5. Bronx River Addition; two buildings, 6 and 14-stories tall.
  6. Clason Point Gardens; forty-five buildings, 2-stories tall.
  7. Monroe Houses; twelve buildings, 8, 14, and 15-stories tall.
  8. Sack Wern Houses; seven buildings, 6-stories tall.
  9. Soundview Houses; thirteen, 7-story buildings.

History

Before and after rehabilitation, now low-income housing.

Until the 1940s, the neighborhood was relatively undeveloped. Most of the residential housing, primarily multi-unit rowhouses and tenement style apartment buildings, had been built near the El on Westchester Avenue and along major streets like Soundview Avenue (once served by a streetcar). In 1941, Clason Point Gardens was the first development constructed by the NYCHA in The Bronx. It was followed by many other low and high-rise NYCHA developments across the neighborhood from the 1950s until the 1970s, which boosted the population significantly. During the 1950s, a major parkway (Bronx River Parkway) and expressway (Bruckner Expressway) were constructed. Later in the 1970s, large high-rise rental and co-op apartment complexes flourished across the neighborhood, under the badge of the Mitchell Lama program.

Like neighboring Hunts Point, Soundview began to fall into rapid decay in the 1970s due to white flight, growing poverty rates, and a citywide fiscal crisis. Abandonment was a problem as the flight picked up pace but much of the White non-Hispanic population was being quickly replaced by poor and working class Latin and African Americans, so abandonment was less extensive than in neighborhoods further west including Morrisania. The neighborhood was badly affected by the crack epidemic throughout the late 80s and early 90s, setting yearly murder totals among the highest in the city. During that time, the Weed and Seed program was put into place by the federal government to improve the situation in Soundview, nearby Mott Haven, and East New York, Brooklyn and later Operation Impact. Crime rates have declined as a result of more modern policing,[citation needed] including CCTV along known high drug trafficking areas, increased foot presence, improved statistical mapping and a shift in demographics. Still, in 2002 Soundview was named the murder capital of NYC. As recently as the middle 2000s, the area was highlighted[by whom?] as the car theft capital of NYC.

In more recent years,[when?] due to a housing crisis in NYC many modern multi-unit row-houses and apartment buildings have been and are being constructed. Many of them are multi zoned for retail and have low or mixed-income qualifications. There have also been plans to extend the NYCHA program with new buildings on unused land in some developments to provide new and improved housing to low-income New Yorkers along with significant renovations and improvements to existing grounds and buildings. Recently Soundview Park, built on a former landfill and the largest in the South Bronx, has undergone a complete transformation including enhanced pedestrian access and completely renovated and redesigned recreational areas. The neighborhood has also become increasingly more diverse with a rise in varied Latin American immigration.

Transportation

Soundview Park

The IRT 6 elevated train traverses, southwest to northeast, through the neighborhood, along Westchester Avenue.

Several bus routes serve the neighborhood.

Facts

  • In 1999, the unarmed Amadou Diallo was shot and killed by 4 plainclothes officers on Wheeler and Westchester Avenues.
  • Watson-Gleason Playground (Rosedale and Watson Avenues) was also home to some of the first breakdancing and DJing competitions.

Notable residents

  • Kemba Walker, star point guard for the UConn Huskies, grew up at the Sack Wern Houses.
  • KRS-One once resided in a group home on Lacombe Avenue near the Soundview Houses
  • The Jazzy Five MC's are the first rappers from the Soundview Houses.
  • DJ's Jazzy Jay[3] and Afrika Islam are from Bronx River Houses.
  • Hip Hop group Money Boss Players, which included Lord Tariq, also known for his work as part of the duo Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz, hail from the Soundview Houses.
  • Former Def Jam recording artists The Cru are from the Lafayette Island Houses.
  • Owner of World Famous Harlem Establishment Sylvia's Restaurant Sylvia Woods, had residences in the Soundview-Bruckner neighborhood.
  • Treston Irby from R&B quintet Hi-Five is from Stevenson Commons.
  • Serial Killer, David Berkowitz, also known as Son of Sam, Lived in the neighborhood as a child.[4]
  • Ruff Ryders recording artist Drag-On and legendary hip hop DJ Disco King Mario are from the Bronxdale Houses
  • Afrika Bambaataa is from Bronx River Houses, which is considered the foundation of hip hop's legendary Zulu Nation. He was also a member of the Black Spades which began in the Bronxdale Houses.[5]
  • D-Tension hip hop artist and producer raised in The Stevenson Commons housing project.
  • Terror Squad members Tony Sunshine and the late Big Pun are also from Soundview.
  • Minnesota, hip hop producer, is from Soundview Houses.
  • Sex Money Murder street gang founder Peter Rollock, or Pistol Pete from Soundview Houses.
  • Ahmed Best, voice of Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars movies.
  • Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. Supreme Court Justice 2009-, grew up in the Bronxdale Houses.
  • Four time New York Golden Gloves champion and former heavyweight boxer Mitch "Blood" Green is from Bronxdale Houses, and was a member of the Black Spades.
  • Former welterweight boxing champion Aaron Davis is from Bronxdale Houses.
  • Uptown Records founder and former CEO of Motown Andre Harrell is from Bronxdale Houses.[6]
  • Former NBA player Ed Pinckney is from Monroe Houses.[7]
  • Wesley Snipes lived in Soundview, attending I.S. 131.
  • Hip Hop producer/rapper Jesse West (3rd Eye) is from Bronx River Houses.
  • Chris Lighty, founder of Violator (company) is from Bronx River Houses.
  • Girl group The Chiffons, known for their 1963 hit He's So Fine, are from Bronx River Houses.
  • Jules Feiffer, cartoonist, playwright, and author, grew up on Stratford Avenue, according to his **

Backing into Forward: A Memoir, e.g., at page 51.

  • ETC EveryThingCash

References

Coordinates: 40°48′59″N 73°52′04″W / 40.8163889°N 73.8677778°W / 40.8163889; -73.8677778


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