Former City Council Speaker Paves Way For Largest Bronx Rezoning

Win one for the Giff.

A development firm that counts former speaker of the New York City Council Gifford Miller as a partner received city approval to rezone a portion of the Bronx for a 5-acre mixed-use property development.

The project, which is being spearheaded by the development firm Signature Urban Properties, is situated on a portion of land located along West Farms Road in the neighborhoods of Crotona Park East and West Farms.

The West Farms development will build a total of 10 mixed-use buildings and will add 46,000 square feet of retail space and 1,325 housing units, 663 of which will be used as subsidized housing.

GTIS Partners, a global real estate investment firm headquartered in New York City, is underwriting a majority of the capital for the $350 million West Farms project. Signature Urban Properties is seeking additional funding from the city Housing Preservation & Development and other city agencies.

The West Farms development has already received enough financing to start two buildings – a low-income and modern-income, respectively – and has started speaking with potential retailers for the ground space storefronts.

“We’ve talked to a few banks and the like, but it’s still conceptual (right now),” Mr. Miller told The Commercial Observer.

The added retail space would bring an estimated 412 permanent jobs in the neighborhood.

The development received unanimous approval by the New York City Planning Commission in September. The New York City Council voted 43 to 1 in favor of it on October 5th.

Mr. Miller told The Commercial Observer that Signature Urban Properties aims to start building the West Farms project at the end of 2012.

“We’re very enthusiastic about the Bronx,” said Mr. Miller, 41. “We feel there are a lot of opportunities in the Bronx, and this is certainly a project that has given us plenty to work on.”

Gifford Miller served in the City Council from 1996 to 2005. Former City Council Speaker Paves Way For Largest Bronx Rezoning