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SoBRO to develop Mott Haven hote

Plans to build a hotel in Mott Haven creates the possibility of new job opportunities in an improving economy.

An empty brownfield lot right off the Major Deegan Expressway at E. 135th Street and Third Avenue could be the future home of a hotel containing 90 rooms. The lot is presently filled with garbage and debris, but has been selected as one of seven empty lots by the South Bronx Economic Development Corporation to be cleaned and reformed. These lots are called brownfields they require toxin contamination remediation before the site can be developed.

SoBRO believes these empty lots in the south Bronx could be important tools in revitalizing this former industrial area of the Bronx into an excellent neighborhood. In 2009, Mayor Bloomberg rezoned a 30-block section of Mot Haven that includes these seven polluted lots to promote types of renovations that could benefit the borough.

Shira Gidding, director of Environmental Planning at SoBRO, sees the idea of a new hotel as a wonderful opportunity for the Bronx.

“This hotel is exactly what the south Bronx is lacking and would be an excellent addition,” said Gidding. “The idea is to create a good amount of jobs, a hotel for travellers and tourists coming from Manhattan and Yankee Stadium and a new business opportunity.”

According to Gidding, the seven lots will all be cleaned during a thorough remediation process that will combine the seven lots into the space needed for the hotel and its parking lot.

The area was once a gas station many years ago and the surrounding soil is currently contaminated. Starting in the first quarter of 2011, the lots will undergo a New York State clean up process that will detoxify the area entirely before it is to begin construction of the new hotel.

“Many people don’t realize how great an area this is for a hotel,” added Gidding. “It is a strong business district of the Bronx and there are a lot of shopping opportunities for future guests staying at the hotel.”

AKRF is an environmental consulting firm that teamed with SoBRO to locate a good area for building opportunities in the Bronx. Together, they saw these empty brownfields in Port Mott Haven as one of the best redevelopment opportunities in all of the Bronx.

Tom Corsillo, press representative of AKRF, said that the two companies are continuing to do work together and are ready to begin the hotel project.

“Brownfield development brings together elements of planning, economic development and economic engineering,” said Corsillo. “AKRF is a very strong consulting firm specializing in all of these areas and is able to work with and guide SoBRO in heading in the right direction for redevelopment.”

The cleanup stage will begin right after the new year and SoBRO hopes to break ground in early 2011.

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