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Driver Killed in Horrific Jerome Avenue Crash

July 24, 2014 at 1:10 PM

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The remains of a fatal car crash on Jerome Avenue. Photo by David Greene


by David Greene 

One man is dead in an overnight car crash on Jerome Avenue in Bedford Park that split the car in half.

Rescue crews were called to the crash at 2:19 a.m. on Thursday, July 24, outside of Lehman College at Jerome Avenue between East 196 Street and Morris Avenue.  Read more

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Editorial – The Norwood News Embarks on a Major Change

July 24, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Editorial - The Norwood News Embarks On A Major Change (Picture)

WHAT A DUO. Norwood News editor-in-chief David Cruz pores over a rough draft of a news article with proofreader maven Judy Noy. Photo by Brittney Williams


Editorial 

It’s not every day you see an editorial on the Norwood News, but this news is worth it. Read more

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Digital Download of the Norwood News Is Available

July 24, 2014 at 9:37 AM

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by David Cruz 

Well, here it is–the latest edition of the Norwood News is out with pages of intriguing news coverage and a special announcement for readers. First up, the Norwood News continues its coverage of the Kingsbridge Armory and some bad luck for merchants who face a massive rent hike come August. We explore just what transpired at an emergency meeting hosted by Community Board 7.

Our next story is pretty endearing for us, and will receive plenty of promotion in the coming four weeks as we enter the annual Norwood News hiatus. In August we’ll unveil a brand new look to the Norwood News that will serve as a new chapter in this great community newspaper’s history. More announcements on this change will come.

We also take a look at what’s happening on the jobs front, the business front with our Business Beat column and the health front with Be Healthy. So if you have several minutes stop by at one of our over 200 locations in the northwest Bronx, and please feel free to call the paper at 718-324-4998 to share some thoughts. Until next month!

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Community Stakeholders Seek Solutions For Rent-Spiked Kingsbridge Merchants

July 23, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Merchants impacted by skyrocketing rents near the Kingsbridge Armory seek solutions at an emergency meeting hosted by Community Board 7.  Photo by Imani Hall

Merchants impacted by skyrocketing rents near the Kingsbridge Armory seek solutions at an emergency meeting hosted by Community Board 7.
Photo by Imani Hall

By DAVID CRUZ  

With 13 merchants facing double the rent for their stores across the street from the Kingsbridge Armory, now slated for redevelopment, those affected are scrambling to find a new place to do business. And many are turning to community stakeholders for help.  Read more

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Easier Access Coming for Fordham Metro-North Riders

July 22, 2014 at 4:06 PM

By BRITTNEY WILLIAMS 

As part of a major reconstruction project, Metro-North will expand the platform at the Fordham Road station as construction of a new ramp on 193rd Street and Webster Avenue gets under way.

The Fordham Metro-North station is the third busiest station in the system, serving roughly 6,000 daily commuters who head into Westchester County. It works mostly as a feeder for the neighborhood, serving as one of the larger nexuses of travel in the neighborhood.

The new entrance is intended to make the station more wheelchair-accessible, connecting the sidewalk on Webster Avenue and 193rd Street to the station, allowing riders living north of the station to get to it faster and save time traveling. In addition, with people approaching the station from different entrances, the passenger load on the train will be more spread out.

“I love Metro-North. It’s not crowded and it’s more comfortable,” said Jasmin Jennings, 31, who often rides the Metro-North.

However, some residents voiced concern, telling the Norwood News that the new entrance is a bad idea. Several residents pointed to the large number of homeless people loitering, and the drug activity that has been reported.

“That’s a bad spot. I know what happens on Webster,” said a Fordham resident, who declined to give his name.

“It would be better because people wouldn’t have to navigate the traffic. There’s a very killer highway, so it is very treacherous to cross,” said Peter Kendrick, a teacher at Taft High School. Kendrick also uses the Fordham station when he teaches at Fordham University and when he goes to the dentist.

Construction for the $120,000 ramp will begin next month and be finished by the fall. This is only part of rehabilitation and will offer an alternative option for access to the platform before the elevator construction is completed.

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Mess of the Month

July 22, 2014 at 4:04 PM

A BIZARRE GRAFFITI scrawl showing devil worshipping tags at a staircase at Williamsbridge Oval. The vandalism is rare given the many gang-affiliated writings spray painted about the northwest Bronx.  Photo courtesy Miosotis Munoz 

A BIZARRE GRAFFITI scrawl showing devil worshipping tags at a staircase at Williamsbridge Oval. The vandalism is rare given the many gang-affiliated writings spray painted about the northwest Bronx.
Photo courtesy Miosotis Munoz

 

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Forum Voicing Concerns About Rent Hikes By Armory Slated For July 24

July 18, 2014 at 2:37 PM

by David Cruz 

Following a report by the Norwood News that revealed impending rent hikes for brick and mortar merchants near the Kingsbridge Armory, the Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance will meet with residents to address the latest concerns.

The town hall-style meeting at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church in Fordham/Kingsbridge on July 24 is the first for the grassroots group since it hammered out a Community Benefits Agreement that guarantees living wage jobs for folks who would work at the Kingsbridge National Ice Center. The CBA, considered a legal contract, is not yet active until the nine ice skating rink and 5,000-seat arena is built inside the iconic landmark.

Residents are encouraged to come to the meeting to bounce ideas around over the latest development, which saw over a dozen stores across the street from the Armory get slapped with double the rent come August. The establishments, including a diner, barber shop, grocery store, and herbal medicine shop were handed notices by the new management office warning them of the rent hike. Established merchants took that as a form of eviction, and an early sign of burgeoning gentrification to the area.

The City Council cleared the project to be built in December, though movement on the project has stalled some following an internal feud between Kevin Parker and three former associates. The two sides are currently battling out their differences in court, though the city Economic Development Corporation doesn’t see the suits as a threat to the project.

The meeting is on Thursday, July 24 at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church. It runs from 6 – 8 p.m.

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Bronx Borough President to be Grand Marshal for Dominican Day Parade

July 17, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Bronx Borough President to be Grand Marshall for Dominican Day Parade

Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. (center), stands with royalty and the lead organizers of the Gran Parada Dominicana Del Bronx. Photo by Richard Bucey

By Brittney Williams 

Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr. has no Dominican blood, but he has been asked to be the Grand Marshal for the 25th annual Bronx Dominican Day Parade this year. He accepted.  Read more

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EXCLUSIVE: Amid Re-development of Kingsbridge Armory, Rents To Double For Some In August

July 16, 2014 at 1:09 PM

New Capitol Restaurant, at the corner of Jerome Avenue and Kingsbridge Road, sits across from the Kingsbridge Armory.  Photo by David Cruz

New Capitol Restaurant, at the corner of Jerome Avenue and Kingsbridge Road, sits across from the Kingsbridge Armory.
Photo by David Cruz

By David Cruz 

The Norwood News has learned rents have doubled for small business owners just across from the Kingsbridge Armory, in a move that’s considered a first major push to weed out retailers on the eve of the Armory’s redevelopment. The move foreshadows a possible trend in the working class neighborhood that could see an exodus of existing retail tenants.

Retailers at over a dozen diners, stores and other retail establishments were sent a letter by New Kingsbridge LLC informing them that rents will double come August 1. The news has stunned many business owners in the working class community, unsure of their future at this point. For the past few years, many have been without a lease.

It’s news that’s hurt George Vangelatos, the owner of New Capitol Restaurant, a diner at the southwest corner of Jerome Avenue and Kingsbridge Road. He learned of the high rent after a phone call from a real estate owner.

“He says we’re gonna double your rent,” said Vangelatos, whose rent will go from $7500 to just over $14000 a month. It’s now unclear whether he intends to leave.

A few doors down Gene Bass, the owner of Forever Young Health Food, sees this as an early sign of gentrification.

“It’s frustrating. You don’t know if you’re coming or going,” said Bass, who feels as though it’s a type of legal eviction. “I’m seeing a lot of vacant stores on Kingsbridge.”

The timeframe–given only three weeks before August 1–is unfair, according to Bass, who’s owned her boutique store for 23 years. “That’s just giving us three weeks to increase our rent, make a decision, get out, stay. This is really horrible. And these are families trying to stay.”

Daisy Discount Stores by University Avenue and Kingsbridge Road is gone. A local liquor shop has also closed up following the announcement of the Armory’s redevelopment.

Remaining Bullish On The Neighborhood
The new management company of the property is First New Kingsbridge LLC, an offshoot firm belonging to Yonkers-based Levites Realty Management, a major real estate player in the Bronx. The firm was extended the lease by Kambia Real Estate and Hios Real Estate, with a combined mortgage of just over $3 million, according to records from the city Department of Finance. Levites has the option of becoming a full-blown owner in the next couple of years.

No sooner that First New Kingsbridge LLC purchased the property that it began advertising while forwarding letters to established owners. On LoopNet, a real estate website, Levites listed the leasing price as $100 per square foot should new retail merchants sign a one-year lease. The maximum floor space per new tenant would be 1000 square feet.

A representative for Levites did not return repeated calls as of press time, as neither did the attorneys representing Levites.

The price change adds further proof of major interest along the Kingsbridge corridor, a community where the median income stands at just under $33,000, according to data from the US Census Bureau. The neighborhood is primed for major changes following the development of the Kingsbridge Armory. The project, considered one of the biggest in the Bronx, has become part of the new narrative for the re-surging Bronx, with borough politicians utilizing the development as part of its talking points.

Members of Community Board 7 are expected to meet with impacted merchants next week, hashing out other alternative sites for them in the future.

“We care and are there to support,” said Adaline Walker-Santiago, chairwoman of Community Board 7.

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The Brew’s Back! Fordham Newsstand Coffee Ban Lifted Following Norwood News Report

July 16, 2014 at 8:44 AM

A recent photo of vendor Muhammed at work in the quaint coffee shop at 1FP. Photo courtesy Jeffrey Cortez

A recent photo of vendor Muhammed at work in the quaint coffee shop at 1FP.
Photo courtesy Jeffrey Cortez

by David Cruz 

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A copy of the Norwood News reporting on the newsstand’s plight. File Photo

Following news reports, including those by the Norwood News, the owner of a newsstand inside One Fordham Plaza is once again cleared to sell coffee following a campaign by online activists. For the past month, the newsstand was allegedly told by management to stop its coffee sales following the opening of a Starbucks just outside the building’s complex.

The news, first broken by the Norwood News, inspired an online petition requesting that One Fordham Plaza reinstate the newsstand owner’s right to sell coffee. While the ban was in place, and acrimony raged, a sign hung up by the tiny stand reading, “No More Coffee Being Sold Over Here,” prompting office tenants inside the building to go elsewhere for coffee.

Many viewed the decision as an example of corporate influence undermining small business shops. But the decision was not backed by Starbucks, who encouraged competition among coffee vendors in a statement given to the Norwood News.

The complex has seen a burgeoning number of establishments in recent years, including an Applebees and Subway.

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