NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - When the new Yankee Stadium was built along with new parking lots and garages, some parks were eliminated. As part of the deal with the Yankees, the city rebuilt part of the parkland that was lost with Macombs Dam Park and Mill Pond Park. However, the city was supposed to extend Mill Pond Park into a vacant area, but now that may not happen. Some are calling this a broken promise.
Geoffrey Croft of the watchdog group NYC Park Advocates and others say the mayor is trying to pull a fast one on the Bronx because the city wants to build market-rate and affordable housing as well as commercial space at the empty location.
Killian Jordan of Community Board 4 applauds Mayor Bill de Blasio's support for affordable housing. However, she says that building it where the community desperately needs parkland for children to play isn't the answer. She says the community should get the park it was promised and that the city needs to be more inventive about improving housing.
The city's Economic Development Corporation says that in addition to apartments and business space the project includes a 2.5-acre park and that the proposal is responding "... to a booming population that needs both affordable housing and recreational space. By providing a brand new 2.5-acre park at 144th Street that will serve hundreds of NYCHA families, extending Mill Pond Park, and creating a mixed-use development that will provide affordable housing, jobs and over 2-acres of seamless open space - this project is an irrefutable win for South Bronx residents."
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who represents this Bronx neighborhood, is reviewing the proposal, her staff said.