Harlem River Waterfront

The Bronx Harlem River waterfront north of the Metro North Bridge.
The Bronx Harlem River waterfront north of the Metro North Bridge.

The Department of City Planning (DCP) is proposing to modify and expand the Special Harlem River Waterfront District (SHRWD) and waterfront access plan (WAP).  The project area is generally bounded by the 149th Street to the north, Exterior Street to the east, Lincoln Avenue to the south and the Harlem River to the west. It is located in Community Board 1. DCP’s work will continue the momentum of local initiatives and build on existing partnerships with local organizations and advocates. The work will result in:

  1. Amendments to the SHRWD regulations to support appropriate resiliency measures and changes to bulk regulations to meet the special district goals;
  2. An expansion of the special district and WAP to the south between Park Avenue and Lincoln Avenue to respond to unique conditions in the area affecting open space, circulation, bulk, and resiliency;
  3. Resiliency guidelines and best practices for development on the Harlem River waterfront.

The Lower Concourse and Port Morris waterfronts have a mix of industrial and commercial uses including self-storage and warehouses. The area is accessible via the Major Deegan Expressway, the 145th Street Bridge, the Third Avenue Bridge, and the Metro North Bridge. Lincoln Hospital and Hostos Community College are two prominent community facilities located to the east, and the Bronx Terminal Market shopping mall is just to the north of 149th Street. The 104-acre Harlem River Yard Transportation and Distribution Center is located in Port Morris along the Harlem River and Bronx Kill south of Lincoln Avenue. The area is well served by transit with three stations on the 2, 4, 5 and 6 lines.

In 2005, DCP rezoned PDF Document Bruckner Boulevard in Port Morris to permit mixed use (industrial and residential), building on a 1997 rezoning that established the first Mixed Use district in the city. In 2009, DCP rezoned a broader 30-block area surrounding the lower end of the Grand Concourse and mapped a waterfront park, established a WAP, applied Inclusionary Zoning regulations to the area to promote affordable housing, and took other related actions to create new investment opportunities and open space in the broader PDF Document Lower Concourse area. In 2009, in addition to the WAP, DCP established the SHRWD to ensure the waterfront from E. 149th Street to Park Avenue would be redeveloped with appropriate uses and buildings designed to be sensitive to the unique conditions of the waterfront and surrounding area. The rezoning of the Lower Concourse intended to transform a waning industrial waterfront area and the lower Grand Concourse into a vibrant, mixed-use, mixed-income community with new housing, waterfront open space, and an array of retail services. 

With the capacity for over 5,000 units of housing along the waterfront, much of which sits in the flood plain, this area requires regulations that support resilient development and address unique conditions to the south to ensure appropriate waterfront public access and open space as development occurs.  The proposed amendments would address the changing regulatory environment around flood resilient construction (i.e., the 2013 passage of the PDF Document Flood Resilience Zoning Text Amendment) and take into account recent local studies and plans affecting the area. 

On June 5th, 2017, the Department of City Planning certified the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) applications (N 170414 ZRX and C 170413 ZMX) for the Special Harlem River Waterfront District to begin the formal review process.

Department of City Planning Certification June 5, 2017 - PDF Document View the presentation
Bronx Community Board 1 Approval June 29, 2017
Borough President Review 30 Days
City Planning Commission Review 60 Days
City Council Review 50 Days