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Soundview is primarily a residential neighborhood geographically located in the South Central section of the Borough of The Bronx in New York City. The neighborhood is part of Bronx Community Board 9. Its boundaries, starting from the North and moving clockwise are the Cross-Bronx Expressway to the North, White Plains Road to the East, Lacombe Avenue to the South, and the Bronx River to the West. The Bruckner Expressway bisects the neighborhood along the center and the Bronx River Parkway runs North to South. Soundview Avenue is the primary thoroughfare through Soundview. The local subway is the 6 line, operating along Westchester Avenue. Zip codes include 10472 and 10473. The area is patrolled by the 43rd Precinct located at 900 Fteley Avenue. New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) property in the area is patrolled by P.S.A. 8 at 2794 Randall Avenue in the Throggs Neck section of The Bronx. The studios for News 12 The Bronx is located here.
Soundview is a suburban neighborhood at the eastern edge of district 8, with a population density about 45,000 per square mile (excluding Soundview Park, about 53,000 per square mile). Its total land area is roughly 1.3 square miles. It is racially diverse and has a mixture of moderate single family homes, low income buildings and expensive condominiums. Most buildings in this section has the same requirement as buildings in Co-op city.
Most of the population in Soundview reside inside large, residential housing complexes of various types. These include public housing, high-rise co-ops and rentals. The neighborhood contains one of the highest concentrations of NYCHA projects in the Bronx. There are also 5 and 6 story, pre-war, apartment buildings primarily concentrated along the IRT Pelham Line El on Westchester Avenue and multi-unit row-houses located throughout the neighborhood. Starting in the 1990s, the construction of modern 2 and 3 unit row-houses and apartment buildings have increased the percentage of owners versus renters.
The neighborhood's northern and eastern borders have a heavy concentration of commercial establishments. Westchester Avenue evolved into a mixed use, primarily commercial, district serving the greater area after the completion of the elevated IRT Pelham Line. Bruckner Plaza, which greatly expanded throughout the 1990s, divides Soundview from neighboring Castle Hill and contains big box stores like Toys R Us, K Mart, and Old Navy. Other primary thoroughfares contain limited but necessary amenities like supermarkets, pharmacies, barbershops, hair salons, fast food, bodegas, and cheap shops.
The western edge of the built neighborhood along the Bronx River is largely industrial in usage.
Soundview Park occupies a significant land area in the southwestern section of the neighborhood (roughly .2 sq miles), with ballfields and playgrounds and a pedestrian/bike greenway along the left bank of the Bronx River estuary from Lafayette Avenue to Leland Avenue.
The total land area is roughly 1.3 sq miles. The terrain is low laying and flat.
There are ten NYCHA developments located in Soundview.
Until the 1940s, the neighborhood was relatively undeveloped. Most of the residential housing, primarily multi-unit rowhouses and tenement style apartment buildings, had been built near the El on Westchester Avenue and along major streets like Soundview Avenue (once served by a streetcar). In 1941 Clason Point Gardens was the first development constructed by the NYCHA in The Bronx. It was followed by many other low and high-rise NYCHA developments across the neighborhood from the 1950s until the 1970s, which boosted the population significantly. During the 1950s, two controlled-access highways, the Bronx River Parkway and Bruckner Expressway, were constructed. Later in the 1970s, large high-rise rental and co-op apartment complexes flourished across the neighborhood, under the badge of the Mitchell Lama program.
Like neighboring Hunts Point, Soundview began to fall into rapid decay in the 1970s due to white flight, growing poverty rates, and a citywide fiscal crisis. Abandonment was a problem as the exodus picked up pace but much of the White non-Hispanic population was being quickly replaced by poor and working class Latin and African Americans. As a result, abandonment was less extensive than in neighborhoods to the west including Morrisania. The neighborhood was gravely affected by the crack epidemic throughout the late 1980s and early 90s, setting yearly murder totals among the highest in the city. During that time, the Weed and Seed program was put into place by the federal government to improve the situation in Soundview, nearby Mott Haven, and East New York, Brooklyn and later Operation Impact. Policing methods include NYPD monitored CCTV along known high drug trafficking areas, increased foot presence, and improved statistical mapping.
In more recent years, a citywide housing crisis spurred construction of modern multi-unit row houses and apartment buildings. Many of them are multi zoned for retail and have mixed-income qualifications. There have also been studies conducted to develop this type of housing on vacant land within the confines of NYCHA property along with significant renovations and improvements to existing grounds and buildings. Soundview Park, built on a former landfill and the largest in the South Bronx, has undergone a complete transformation including enhanced pedestrian access and completely renovated and redesigned recreational areas. Future plans in accordance with PlaNYC initiatives will create an urban oasis in this dense community; complete with recreation nodes, Greenway connections, bike/hike trails, designated fishing areas, a boat launch, and esplanades with skyline views. The neighborhood has become increasingly more diverse with a rise in varied Latin American immigration in recent years. Crime has also seen a significant decline as a result of a number of factors including enhanced policing techniques and changing economic demographics.
Several bus routes serve the neighborhood.
In 1999, the unarmed Amadou Diallo was shot and killed by 4 plainclothes officers on Wheeler and Westchester Avenues.
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