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Mayor de Blasio and Council Member Rodriguez Celebrate City Council Approval of the Inwood Neighborhood Rezoning

August 8, 2018

Plan delivers over $200 million in new public investment for affordable housing, waterfront parks, STEM education, and cultural institutions

The de Blasio Administration and Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez today celebrated the City Council’s approval of the Inwood neighborhood rezoning, the City’s plan to ensure Inwood remains an affordable, attractive neighborhood for working and immigrant families. Approval of this plan concludes more than three years of community-driven planning efforts to create new affordable housing and economic opportunities for Inwood residents.

“The approval of the Inwood neighborhood rezoning means a fairer, stronger future for a community that has experienced decades of disinvestment. It means affordability, security, and opportunity for residents and new immigrants alike,” said Mayor de Blasio. “I thank Councilmember Rodriguez for his partnership in creating a bold plan that will benefit the community for generations to come. I also thank Speaker Johnson, Land Use Committee Chair Salamanca and the entire Council for joining us in our fight for affordable housing and strong neighborhoods.”

“My community deserves the best,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “We came into these negotiations with very high expectations because we are a community of hardworking residents who have, against all odds,  thrived in underserved neighborhoods that have seen very little affordable housing development in the last 50 years. This plan is an important first step in strengthening our community and an opportunity to bring many of the resources we currently lack in our neighborhood. We have secured over $200 million in public funds for new commitments in our community. In the next five years, we will create, preserve and protect over 5,000 affordable housing units. We will bring over $50 million in STEM and robotics programming and capital, and a new P-Tech school at George Washington Educational Campus. We are building 100% affordable housing development at critical public sites, including the DOT Bridge Repair Facility at 205th Street. We are bringing to our district a first-in-the nation Immigrant Research Center and Performing Arts space to be run by the New York Public Library and leading community-based organizations. Thank you to Speaker Corey Johnson, Mayor Bill de Blasio, EDC and community leaders for listening to our community and working towards a responsible rezoning.”

“The Inwood rezoning presents a balanced planning framework and aims to ensure that the neighborhood remains affordable for working families.  With the passage of this rezoning, Inwood’s vibrant mixed-use character will be extended to the Harlem River, permanent affordable housing will be required in new developments, the existing character will be strengthened with preservation west of 10th Avenue, and new opportunities for job creation will be cultivated. I thank Councilmember Rodriguez for his vision, and Speaker Johnson, Land Use Committee Chair Salamanca, and the Council for their support,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen.

This comprehensive neighborhood plan will extend residential Inwood eastward across 10th Avenue to the Harlem River, transforming underutilized land currently zoned for manufacturing uses including 10 acres of parking lots into homes and public open space. Under the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, new residential buildings in this area will include permanently affordable homes. All new waterfront developments will also be required to provide public open space which, combined with City investments, will achieve the longstanding community goal of reclaiming the Harlem River waterfront for public use and enjoyment.

Developed over the course of three years, the Inwood NYC plan will deliver over $200 million in new public investment to the neighborhood. This will result in the creation, preservation, and protection of thousands of affordable homes, new parks and waterfront access, new STEM education offerings, and support for small businesses and good jobs. Highlights of the plan include:

  • Repurposing underutilized, transit-accessible land along the Harlem River to better serve community needs and provide a responsible framework for growth;
  • Creating an estimated 1,600 affordable homes through 100 percent affordable projects on public sites and MIH requirements on private sites, replenishing and expanding Inwood’s affordable housing stock for the first time in decades;
  • Preserving and protecting at least 2,500 affordable homes in Inwood and Washington Heights with new resources to prevent displacement and keep apartment buildings affordable;
  • Building two new waterfront parks, North Cove Park and the Sherman Creek Malecón – a major step toward the long-awaited goal of a continuous public esplanade along the Harlem River;
  • Rebuilding and renovating existing parks, including the transformation of Monsignor Kett Playground into an intergenerational park and destination;
  • Investing $50 million in local school infrastructure and expanded programming in science, technology, engineering, and math, such as a new STEM Institute at the George Washington Educational Campus;
  • Creating a state-of-the-art Inwood Library with a new Pre-K for All facility, a youth STEM education center focused on robotics, and a cultural and job training center, along with 175 new, deeply affordable homes;
  • Improving streets to make them safer and more attractive for pedestrians and cyclists, and upgrading sewer infrastructure;
  • Establishing an Immigrant Research Center and Performing Arts to celebrate the contributions of generations of immigrants to the rich history and culture of Northern Manhattan;
  • Encouraging affordable retail space by requiring long-term leases with limited rent increases in City-financed development projects;


“Over the past four years, we have worked with Council Member Rodriquez and community stakeholders to develop a smart and equitable plan for the future of Inwood,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “Inwood NYC will deliver over $200 million in new public investment and create thousands of units of affordable housing, new waterfront open space, and high-quality STEM education. This plan will help Inwood remain a place for working families, and we thank Council Member Rodriguez for his leadership in making this a reality.”

“The Inwood NYC plan shows what we can achieve when we work together to invest in our city’s neighborhoods, plan for the future, and protect the residents who built our communities. Thanks to an extensive planning process that incorporated invaluable input from the community, this rezoning will not only create over 1,600 new affordable homes, but protect 2,500 existing homes in this thriving Manhattan neighborhood that has long been a bastion for affordability in this city,” said HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer.  “I thank the Mayor and Council Member Rodriguez for their leadership in this process, as well as the many community leaders and residents for their collaboration and commitment to keeping New York City affordable.”

“It’s no secret that clear-sighted planning is central to creating jobs and preserving affordable housing for residents in neighborhoods across our city. I thank the Inwood community and Councilmember Rodriguez for their clear determination to ensure that everyone benefits from our sound plan for Inwood’s future,” said Department of City Planning Director Marisa Lago.

“The new Pre-K for All seats and STEM education center are long-term investments in our students that will put them on the path to college and careers,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “In these facilities, our students will learn how to create, work collaboratively and solve problems at a whole new level. I thank Mayor de Blasio and Council Member Rodriguez for their commitment to supporting the success of our students.”

“The Inwood NYC Plan reflects many years of planning and advocacy for Inwood’s waterfront and open space,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “The Plan represents significant investment that supports the community’s long-held desire to connect with a revitalized Harlem River and recreational opportunities at Monsignor Kett Playground, Highbridge and Inwood parks.”

“The Department of Social Services is proud to be on the front lines of supporting tenants and low-income residents across Northern Manhattan,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “By increasing access to free legal services for Inwood tenants facing eviction, we are leveling the playing field between tenants and landlords in Housing Court. We are also doubling down on our commitment to provide wraparound services to New Yorkers by expanding our signature Homebase program to two locations in the area, including to an existing Health Department facility. At Homebase, we provide eviction prevention services, mediate landlord-tenant disputes, and provide connections to critical programs like SNAP, which help New Yorkers put food on the table every night.”

“The Department of Small Business Services is committed to helping create economic security for all New Yorkers,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “We will continue to help the Inwood neighborhood thrive by ensuring that our free services are accessible to local jobseekers and small business owners. Our services include workforce development training, free commercial lease and navigating government assistance as well as targeted resources for immigrant New Yorkers.”

“We’re excited to work with the Inwood community to build technology education and pilot programs as part of the neighborhood rezoning efforts,” said Alby Bocanegra, Interim Chief Technology Officer, Mayor’s Office of the CTO. “We see this as an opportunity to deliver technology in a way that will benefit Inwood and all New Yorkers.”

“Residents of Community Board 12 should feel proud that their voices have been heard and their advocacy has created change. While we would’ve loved to see all of our recommendations incorporated into the final position, the Board is pleased that key provisions of our resolution have been considered - namely, the removal of the ‘commercial U’, the creation of thousands of units of affordable housing, increased funding and programs for preservation, millions of dollars for parks upgrades, and the addition of and access to the greenway,” said Shahabuddeen Ally, CB12 Chair.

“NMIC's role as a settlement house is to provide a range of services to support and stabilize our community members.  We are committed to working hard to ensure that the commitments made to Inwood through this rezoning are kept and that community residents are able to take advantage of the upcoming investments,” said Maria Lizardo, Executive Director, Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation.

"For the past three years the community has been engaged in a process to improve the lives of the residents of Inwood and Washington Heights. It should be noted, that many of our residents have taken the opportunity to become engaged and have provided significant suggestions and recommendations and they have been heard! In this final phase of this process, I would like to give an enormous amount of recognition and credit to our Council Member for championing our community. He has fought for valuable and much needed resources to be invested in our community to ensure our successful longevity. We applaud the millions of dollars of investments that will be made in the arts, our parks, our schools, our adult education and skills training, our infrastructure, and our businesses! These are no short term wins, these are long term victories for our community,” said Yvonne Stennett, Executive Director of CLOTH (Community League of the Heights).

“I am pleased that long-neglected Inwood and Washington Heights will receive much needed services and resources as a result of this approved rezoning,” said Fern Hertzberg, Executive Director, ARC XVI Fort Washington, Inc.

“As the oldest not-for-profit in Inwood, we understand the needs of Inwood residents and the history that has brought us to this moment in time. While we respect the concerns expressed by advocates opposed to the rezoning, it has been unbridled greed in the Manhattan real estate market that has negatively impacted many neighborhoods – thus taking away a family's ability to not only to pay their rent, but also to enhance the lives of their children. We commend Councilman Rodriguez’s effort to reverse this trend by listening attentively to his community, and diligently crafting a rezoning initiative that is responsive to their concerns. We also applaud the Councilman's tenacity in the negotiation process with the administration, and his subsequent success in securing a host of sorely needed services for this underserved community,” said Charlie Corliss, Ph.D., ABPP, Executive Director, Inwood Community Services.

"As part of the rezoning, the city has committed to building Inwood's first performing arts center dedicated to immigrants - an historic accomplishment for the arts and culture community uptown. People's Theatre Project is committed to working with its partners and the city to see this vision realized,” said Mino Lora, Executive Director of People's Theatre Project.

Responding to City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez’s call for action during his State of the District speech in March 2015, a City team led by NYCEDC engaged more than 2,500 residents and other local stakeholders in planning for the long-term future of Inwood. From this dialogue, the City and its partners developed the Inwood NYC Action Plan, first released in 2017 and updated in 2018 — a set of strategies and actions to achieve the following community-identified priorities:

  • Produce affordable homes, keep existing affordable homes affordable, and protect tenants;
  • Connect Inwood to the Harlem River by extending the vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood east of 10th Avenue and reclaiming the waterfront for the public;
  • Preserve and strengthen Inwood's distinctive neighborhood character west of 10th Avenue
  • Invest in the people of Inwood by increasing access to workforce training and jobs, youth programming, and other services, and supporting local businesses;
  • Invest in infrastructure such as streets, parks, sewers and community spaces;


This comprehensive neighborhood plan involves efforts from a range of City agencies, including the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Human Resource Administration, Department of Small Business Services, Department of City Planning, Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Cultural Affairs, Department of Education, and Department of Transportation.

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