Introducing the Plan

The Diego Beekman Neighborhood Plan presents an integrated approach to the neighborhood surrounding Diego Beekman by building on existing community strengths and identifying key challenges to the neighborhood. Given the concentrated poverty levels, the overwhelming service demand placed on local providers, and the unique opportunities offered by publicly owned lots, this plan proposes a series of interrelated community-wide and site-specific interventions.

  1. Community-wide strategies include transformational investments in key institutions and physical spaces intended to address the service needs of overwhelming local providers and to strengthen local anchor institutions.
  2. Site-specific strategies that are intended to help address critical community-wide housing, employment, retail, and community service needs, primarily by leveraging major publicly-owned parcels of land.
Man with a cane and in a yellow puffer jacket, walking down a busy East 138th Street


Create a new locally-focused service collaborative focused on the Diego Beekman neighborhood

The collaborative would be comprised of existing, engaged local organizations, high capacity organizations that are new to the neighborhood, and public agencies. The collaborative would bring providers to work together to fill key missing functions in the community.

St.Ann's Church in Mott Haven Bronx
View of a school's basketball court in The Bronx. 351 Powers Avenue, DOE Site

Invest in Community Anchor Institutions and Public Infrastructure

Key neighborhood institutions, like local schools, parks, and subway stations are viewed by many as subpar or dangerous, and avoided or used only out of necessity. A strength-based approach views these as assets that can be revitalized through new investment and adding key services and support. Public control or involvement in these institutions allows for easily-targeted interventions with a combination of existing and new funding streams.

Improve Public Safety Through Physical Design

Rehabilitate the Cypress Avenue and East 143rd Street subway stations to improve safety, embrace Crime Prevention Through Physical Design (CPTED), study the abandoned Port Morris Branch below-grade rail line for transportation, cultural or open space resource, and add greenery to neighborhood streets and public space.

Cypress Avenue Subway Station
 A may laying out Key Publicly-Owned Soft Sites

Key Publicly-Owned Soft Sites

A Community That Needs Investment

Diego Beekman identified three key publicly-owned soft sites (underutilized parcels of land with development potential) shown in red that offer significant development opportunities and occupy prominent places in the neighborhood.


351 Powers Avenue Site

Preserve and Grow Housing Opportunities

Create up to 711 new affordable housing on three key public sites, in addition to the addition to the 1,238 units that are part of Diego Beekman.

Build Locally-Rooted Economic Opportunities

Build career path training and local hiring programs and create a multi-story manufacturing facility that can act as a center for industrial jobs.

Man working, using a metal stamping machine.
Map showing BID Boundaries and Commercial Uses

Attract New Community and Retail Services

Establish new youth, elderly, and early childhood centers, create new retail corridors, and create a large supermarket.


698–700 East 138th Street

This site is an unimproved vacant lot owned by MTA New York City Transit and is currently used for parking a single truck, largely to deter illegal uses of the site that have occurred in the past. The site is steps from the entrance to the uptown Cypress Avenue 6 train platform and adjacent to a Diego Beekman building at 694 East 138th Street.

The proposed development would be eight stories—with the top story setback from the streetwall. The building would house 33 units of housing affordable at 30%, 60% and 80% of AMI. There would also be 6,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor, with the goal of locating locally desirable retail, such as a restaurant, laundromat, or clothing store.

This development is intended to be in scale with surrounding development and to continue the retail streetscape of East 138th Street. The building would be designed to preserve the light and air for the near-lot-line windows of the adjacent Diego Beekman building.

Diego Beekman Transit AxonTransit Site Final PlanPhotograph of a vacant lot the MTA owns that could be used for development

351 Powers Avenue

This site is the unimproved parking lot behind the PS 65 playground, about a half block south of St. Mary’s Park. The 17,400-square foot parcel is on the same tax lot as the school and therefore can draw on the unused development rights of the playground area. The site backs up to an existing Diego Beekman building and is currently used by teachers at the school for parking.

The proposed development would include housing, community space, and other amenities.

351 Powers Ave, DOE Option 10 Ariel351 Powers Avenue, DOE Parking Lot351 Powers Ave, DOE Rendering

745 East 141st Street

This 4.3 acre site currently houses the Bronx NYPD Tow Pound, which houses roughly a dozen tow trucks, 75-150 impounded cars, and several trailers used as administrative offices. The site was the home of Lincoln Hospital until the 1970s. The debris from the hospital is said to not have been removed from the site, and substantial above-grade bedrock is extant, presenting challenging conditions. The site is bordered by manufacturing and low-end commercial uses on the North and South, the Bruckner Expressway on the East, and a block of historic three-story row houses on Concord Avenue on the West.

Currently, this site has been selected by the City as a location for a new jail, as a part of Mayor de Blasio’s Borough-Based Jail Plan. Prior to the site’s selection our plan called for dividing the existing superblock into two sections, reestablishing the historical alignment of Wales Avenue and delivering housing, commercial space, and community facilities. We are committed to working with the City on the best use for this site.

Diego Beekman Tow Pound Site Plan745 E 141st Street NYPD Axon 745 E 141st Street NYPD Rendering

Become a public supporter

Stand with us in support of a community-based plan that works for all of Mott Haven and tackles historical disinvestment in the community.

The plan is designed to build locally rooted economic opportunities, invest in community infrastructure, and create much needed housing, putting Mott Haven residents front and center.

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