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Residents concerned about Pelham Parkway Towers

With the Pelham Parkway Towers headed for construction within the year, local officials and residents still have many questions about the project.

“I’m not happy about another high-rise apartment building going up because parking is always an issue in that area, and what about the schools?” asked Edith Blitzer, president of the Pelham Parkway South Neighborhood Association. “Are the kids going to be bussed down here, or are they going to bring in a school up there? There’s still a million questions I’d like to ask.”

MJM Construction is planning to put up a seven-story apartment complex. Company officials expect the project, which will be called the Pelham Parkway Towers, to be completed in 2012.

Although the building will be located at 1600 Pelham Parkway South, Bronxites living as far away as Waterbury-LaSalle are also voicing their worries about the project.

For Andrew Chirico, who is a member of both Community Board 10 and the Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association, bringing another large apartment complex to the area is simply poor planning.

“It’s over-development,” he said. “There’s no infrastructure to support the residents. They should have thought about a recreational use for the property. You need a balance, but you don’t need more housing.”

According to Community Board 11 district manager John Fratta, the community would be better served by a park or a community center, which residents have often requested.

A portion of the property once housed horse stables until about five years ago, but other sections of the property have been vacant for nearly 80 years.

Fratta said the Pelham Parkway Towers developers came to the community board about two years ago to get a letter of support for the project, but the board voted against supporting the project.

“The community board voted not to support the project because we weren’t happy about bringing in another 90 families to that area,” he said. “There’s a lack of infrastructure and schools and everything else.”

The company is required to create parking for at least 50 percent of the units. According to Fratta, the developer’s plans included parking for 82 percent of the units, however, he said the proposal may have changed since the board reviewed it in 2008.

“We are hoping there will be condos or luxury housing there,” he said.

MJM Construction, which is the construction company for the project and one of the main investors, has been invited to the September community board meeting, and community leaders hope some of their questions will finally be answered.

MJM Construction did not return calls for comment Monday.

Reach reporter Max Mitchell at (718) 742-3394 or mmitchell@cnglocal.com

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