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The History of Soundview, NY

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The personal injury attorneys in Soundview, NY, sponsor this article to offer a detailed report about the area.

Soundview is a neighborhood on the Clason Point Penninsula in the borough of the Bronx in New York City. The community spans 1.16 square miles and hosts an approximate population of 32,825 with a population density of 29,000 per square mile. The area is within ZIP codes 10472 and 10473.

History

Prior to the 20th century, parcels across Soundview remained undeveloped. Then, in 1941, Soundview became home to the first development constructed by the New York City Housing Authority in the Bronx.

In 1947, some of the area was used for a temporary New York City Housing Authority project. The project was composed of 947 apartments in 473 Quonset huts. You can still find one remaining hut on the south side of Seward Avenue at Croes Avenue today.

By the 1950s, many other New York City Housing Authority projects developed in the neighborhood, and two controlled-access highways, including The Bronx River Parkway and the Bruckner Expressway, were built. The area continued to prosper and develop through the 1970s.

By the end of the 1970s, large high-rise apartment and co-op buildings were built in Soundview. After the high rises were built, the Mitchell - Lama Housing Program was established in Soundview. The program is a non-subsidy governmental housing guarantee in the state of New York. Senator MacNeil Mitchell and Assemblyman Alfred Lama sponsored the program. The program intends to provide affordable housing, both rental and co-operatively owned, for middle-income residents.

Following the 1970s, Soundview began to rapidly decay due to growing poverty rates, white flight, and a citywide fiscal crisis. The area was also severely impacted by the crack epidemic through the 1980s and 1990s, which, unfortunately, lead the area to have the highest murder rates in the city.

At the time, the Weed and Seed Program was put into place, which was intended to reduce crime. The program included policing methods. Soon enough, NYPD monitored CCTV along known high drug trafficking areas, increased foot presence, and improved statistical mapping.

In 1999, Soundview suffered the tragic loss of an unarmed named Amadou Diallo. He was shot and killed by four plainclothes officers near the corner of Wheeler and Westchester Avenues.

In the 2000s, the citywide housing crisis spurred on development in Soundview. The neighborhood saw a mass construction of modern multi-unit row houses and apartment buildings. Many of which are multi-zoned and have mixed-income requirements.

The Soundview neighborhood has plans following PlaNYC initiatives that intend to create a dense urban community with fully renovated and redesigned recreational areas.

In most recent years, Soundview has become more diverse with a rise in Latin American and Asian immigration. Additionally, the crime rates have seen a significant decline.

Developments in Soundview

Low-income public housing is a central feature of Soundview, and the New York City Housing Authority has constructed multiple developments in the neighborhood including,

  • Bronx River Houses; nine 14-story buildings.
  • Bronx River Addition; two buildings, one 6 stories tall another 14 stories tall.
  • Clason Point Gardens; forty-five buildings, all 2 stories tall.
  • Monroe Houses; twelve buildings, either 8, 14, or 15 stories tall.
  • Boynton Avenue Rehab; three rehabilitated tenement buildings, either 3 or 6 stories tall.
  • Sotomayor Houses; twenty-eight 7-story buildings.
  • Sack Wern Houses; seven buildings, each 6 stories tall.

On the southwest end of Soundview, there is also Soundview Park which occupies 205 acres with ball fields, playgrounds, and a pedestrian/ bike greenway along the Bronx River. The park is a neighborhood treasure and is home to the "Parque de Los Ninos," a playground opened in 1956 that was renamed in 1995 to honor six children from the neighborhood who were killed.

The Soundview park was recently granted $1.6 million for renovation in 2016.

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Laurence P. Banville
Date Published: May 21, 2021
Laurence P. Banville is the managing partner of Banville Law. As an experienced personal injury attorney, Mr. Banville helps clients recover compensation from those responsible for his clients' injuries. Our firm is located in New York City, serving clients from the five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
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