Council Hears Proposal For Bruckner Expressway Development

Council Member Marjorie Velazquez speaks at the Subcommittee hearing for the Bruckner Sites Rezoning application. Image Credit: City Council.

Located in a low-density area with few affordable homes, the four proposed apartment buildings would require a controversial rezoning. On September 7, 2022, the City Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises held a public hearing to discuss a proposed rezoning in Throggs Neck, Bronx. If the rezoning is approved by the City Council, developer Throggs Neck Associates, LLC will construct four mixed-use apartment buildings at four different sites off the Bruckner Expressway. The project area is bordered by Bruckner Expressway to the south, Crosby Avenue to the east, Balcom Avenue to the west, and Meyers Street to the north.

Proposal Details

Located at the intersection of Crosby Avenue and the Bruckner Expressway, Site A will be a six-story building with 126 units. Thirty-eight of these units will be permanently affordable for those making 80 percent AMI or less, meaning $62,000 for a family of three. Fifty-six percent of the units at Site A will be one-bedroom, while the rest will be two- and three-bedrooms to accommodate families. The development will have 190 parking spots. Site A currently has a one-story Super Foodtown supermarket, which would be rebuilt.

Site B will be located on the corner of Bruckner and Edison Avenue. This building will be smaller than Site A, with five stories, 102 units, and enclosed parking for 75 vehicles. Thirty-one units at Site B will be permanently affordable at 80 percent AMI, and 20 units will be two- and three-bedrooms to accommodate families. Like Site A, the demolition of existing buildings will be required. Site B is currently home to batting cages, and the new building’s retail space will house the local Boys and Girls Club.

Based on public feedback from Bronx Community Board 10’s review, the developer updated plans for Sites C and D to serve specific groups. Located at Bruckner and Revere Avenue, Site C will devote 100 percent of units to senior affordable housing, with 30 units remaining permanently affordable. The senior housing development will have 99 units, a live-in superintendent, and parking for 29 vehicles. The developer has partnered with the Jewish Association Serving the Aging (JASA), and will give advance notice to the community board and local senior centers so more Throggs Neck residents can apply for the housing lottery.

Site D will similarly include 100 percent veteran housing, with rent entirely paid for by the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. Site D will also have on-site services like counseling and job placement assistance, with small fees based on veterans’ ability to pay. The Tunnel to Towers foundation will construct a three-story, 22-unit building at the intersection of Bruckner and Balcom Avenue, and local residents will receive top priority. Altogether, the finished four-site project will be medium rather than high-density.

Prior History

On May 19, 2022, Bronx Community Board 10 voted against the Bruckner Sites Rezoning 24-1. Major areas of concern from the public included school overcrowding, health concerns, excessive traffic, lack of parking, overpriced food stores, and additional strains on public services. Chairperson Joseph Russo stated in a letter to City Planning that while the Throggs Neck community is not anti-development, they do not support spot-zoning and only wish to build new projects as-of-right.

On June 27, Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson approved the plan on the condition that Site A’s zoning district be changed. The building was originally planned for eight stories, but the Borough President recommended limiting the building’s height to five stories. In her full report, Gibson explained that this compromise would alleviate infrastructure problems for the low-density area. While the zoning district for Site A will remain the same, the developer agreed to a six-story building based on Gibson’s feedback.

On July 13, City Planning unanimously voted in favor of rezoning despite significant opposition from local stakeholders at their public hearing. City Planning found that adding the proposed bulk off the 200-foot wide Bruckner Expressway was appropriate, and additionally praised the creation of new affordable housing.

Zoning Subcommittee Public Hearing

Local Council Member Testimony

The discussion began with opening remarks from Council Member Marjorie Velazquez, who represents Throggs Neck. Velazquez stated that Throggs Neck has historically been left behind, despite being full of “community heroes” like veterans and healthcare workers. Since the area lacks both infrastructure and affordable housing, Velazquez carefully analyzes any land use proposals to ensure they benefit her constituents. As such, Velazquez listed four key principles she will consider in approving the Bruckner rezoning: robust community engagement, locally hired union labor, real affordability, and increased city services like climate resiliency.

Developer Testimony

The Subcommittee then heard from two representatives of Throggs Neck Associates, Jaclyn Scarinci, attorney, and Sam LaMontanaro, the project’s engineer. Scarinci emphasized the project’s investment in the community, which she feels needs to be balanced with infrastructure concerns and NIMBYism. Scarinci noted that despite local concerns, the area will retain its Low Density Growth Management Area status, which ensures better site planning and adequate parking.

LaMontanaro then highlighted measures his team will take to ensure climate resiliency and quality infrastructure, namely using sustainable materials and abiding by the Stormwater Rule to preserve water piping. Scarinci concluded their presentation by describing the project’s long-term economic impact, and stating “on the record that efforts to turn out people in support [have] been stymied by a coordinated and vicious intimidation campaign by opponents, both online and in person.” After describing various incidents of supporter harassment, Scarinci turned over to committee members for questions.

Council Member Q&A

Zoning Chair Council Member Kevin Riley began by asking why Site D was included in the project, since it’s not adjacent to the rest of the project area and was not mapped for Mandatory Inclusionary Housing. Scarinci explained that Site D is on a long-vacant lot, and the overarching project goal is to create a commercial corridor along this stretch of the Bruckner Expressway.

Council Member Velazquez pushed for more details on key issues like density, housing, the remodel of the Super Foodtown grocery store at Site A, and the Boys and Girls Club access at Site B, Velazquez asked what public funding was sought out for Sites C and D, which will both be 100% affordable. Velazquez asked for clarification on who “Throggs Neck Associates” is and their financing structure. Scarinci explained that PJB Realty owns Site A, Jape Equities owns Site B, and Marciano Enterprises owns Site C and D. While Sites A, B, and D will receive 100 percent private funding, as a senior affordable housing project Site C will be 100 percent publicly funded. Scarinci also informed Velazquez that while contracts with minority and women owned businesses are required for Site C, the developer plans to seek them out for all four buildings.

Both Velazquez and Council Member Lynn Schulman inquired about union labor, and Scarinci shared that the developer has reached an agreement with 32BJ and a memo of understanding with Construction and General Building Laborers’ Local 79. However, both Council Members were disappointed to learn that no agreement has been reached with the carpenters union despite negotiations. Schulman also asked about the three property owners’ level of experience dealing with affordable housing, and Scarinci stated that since they are all small owners with little affordable development experience, the owners of both Site A and Site B have contracted with larger developers for assistance.

Public Testimony

After questioning the developer, the Zoning Subcommittee heard testimony from over 200 stakeholders and members of the public. Borough President Gibson began the public testimony by praising the project, emphasizing the developer’s willingness to support the local community and the need for every neighborhood to create affordable housing.


Many local residents spoke out against the plan due to population increases and infrastructure problems, including Throggs Neck Homeowners Association President Lynn Koester and Frank Vernuccio of the Throggs Neck Business Improvement District.

Other speakers felt that in addition to worsening existing infrastructure issues, this project does not achieve more home ownership and represents developer greed. Community Board 10 Chairperson Joe Russo stated that despite the developer’s changed plan for Sites C and D, which does acknowledge key issues that the community supports, local residents still don’t want the added density from rezoning.


Many key stakeholders voiced support for the project, particularly for the targeted housing at Sites C and D. These included Franco Marciano, a Throggs Neck resident whose family owns the long-vacant Sites C and D, Peter Zuccarello, whose family owns Site B, Donald Manning of JASA, Moses Gates of the Regional Plan Association, and Matthew Mahoney of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

Council Member Velazquez and Council Member Gale Brewer questioned Mahoney, who explained that the Foundation’s housing program is newly developed, so they have focused efforts outside of New York State where need is greater. Mahoney noted that the developer approached them for the project first, and rent is free regardless of a veteran’s ability to pay because the project’s main focus is on-site services.

Union representatives from Local 79 also spoke in favor of the rezoning, as did Sinclair Hollingsworth, Director of Operations at the neighborhood Boys and Girls Club.

Next Steps

The Subcommittee for Zoning and Franchises will be voting on the Bruckner Sites Rezoning in the near future. If a majority of the subcommittee approves the rezoning, the Land Use Committee will hold their own vote—after which the plan would be voted on by the full City Council at an upcoming Stated meeting.

By: Cassidy Strong (Cassidy is a CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2024.)



One thought on “Council Hears Proposal For Bruckner Expressway Development

  1. Gigantic “Last Mile Trucking Facility” opening soon at 2505 Bruckner…more pollution added to the Asthma in the Bronx and especially added to this site which is adjacent to Bruckner expressway 1 single lane street width away.

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