Soundview is a working-class neighborhood geographically located in the Clason Point section of the borough of the Bronx in New York City. 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 horizontally along the center and the Bronx River Parkway runs north to south. Soundview Avenue is the primary thoroughfare through Soundview.
Apartment buildings in Soundview with the Midtown Manhattan skyline in the background
Location in New York City
|City||New York City|
|Community District||Bronx 9|
|• Total||2.89 km2 (1.116 sq mi)|
|• Density||11,000/km2 (29,000/sq mi)|
|• Median income||$41,120|
|Area code||718, 347, 929, and 917|
Soundview is part of Bronx Community Board 9, and its ZIP Codes include 10472 and 10473. The area is patrolled by the NYPD's 43rd Precinct. 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 are located here.
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 Pelham elevated line 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 Americans 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.
Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of Soundview/Clason Point/Castle Hill was 53,686, a change of 2,933 (5.5%) from the 50,753 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 1,198.36 acres (484.96 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 44.8 inhabitants per acre (28,700/sq mi; 11,100/km2). The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 2% (1,067) White, 37% (19,876) African American, 0.3% (161) Native American, 1.3% (709) Asian, 0% (22) Pacific Islander, 0.4% (239) from other races, and 1.1% (586) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 57.8% (31,026) of the population.
Soundview's total land area is roughly 1.3 square miles. The neighborhood predominantly consists of Latin Americans (mainly Puerto Ricans) and African Americans and has a mixture of moderate single family homes, low income buildings and expensive condominiums. Most buildings in this section have the same residency requirements as buildings in Co-op City.
The entirety of Community District 9, which comprises Soundview and Parkchester, had 184,105 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 79.7 years.:2, 20 This is about the same as the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods.:53 (PDF p. 84) Most inhabitants are youth and middle-aged adults: 25% are between the ages of between 0–17, 29% between 25–44, and 24% between 45–64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 10% and 12% respectively.:2
As of 2017, the median household income in Community District 9 was $40,005. In 2018, an estimated 26% of Soundview and Parkchester residents lived in poverty, compared to 25% in all of the Bronx and 20% in all of New York City. One in eight residents (13%) were unemployed, compared to 13% in the Bronx and 9% in New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 55% in Soundview and Parkchester, compared to the boroughwide and citywide rates of 58% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018[update], Soundview and Parkchester are considered low-income relative to the rest of the city and not gentrifying.:7
Land use and terrainEdit
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.
The total land area is roughly 1.3 square miles. The terrain is low laying and flat.
Bruckner Plaza, which greatly expanded throughout the 1990s, divides Soundview from neighboring Castle Hill and contains big box stores like Toys R Us, Kmart, 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.
"Parque de los Ninos" was recently granted $1.6M for renovations. The playground at the corner of Morrison and Watson avenues opened in 1956 and was renamed in 1995 to honor six neighborhood children who were killed in the late 80's.
Low-income public housing complexEdit
There are ten NYCHA developments located in Soundview.
- 1780 Watson Avenue, one 6-story building.
- 1471 Watson Avenue; one 6-story building.
- Boynton Avenue Rehab; three rehabilitated tenement buildings, either 3 or 6 stories tall.
- Sotomayor Houses; twenty-eight 7-story buildings.
- Bronx River Houses; nine 14-story buildings.
- Bronx River Addition; two buildings, one 6 stories tall another 14 stories tall.
- Clason Point Gardens; forty-five buildings, all 2 stories tall.
- Monroe Houses; twelve buildings, either 8, 14, or 15 stories tall.
- Sack Wern Houses; seven buildings, each 6 stories tall.
- Soundview Houses; thirteen 7-story buildings.
Police and crimeEdit
Soundview and Parkchester are patrolled by the 43rd Precinct of the NYPD, located at 900 Fteley Avenue. The 43rd Precinct ranked 36th safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010. With a non-fatal assault rate of 100 per 100,000 people, Soundview and Parkchester's rate of violent crimes per capita is more than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration rate of 603 per 100,000 people is higher than that of the city as a whole.:8
The 43rd Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 79.6% between 1990 and 2018. The precinct saw 14 murders, 45 rapes, 299 robberies, 589 felony assaults, 179 burglaries, 663 grand larcenies, and 151 grand larcenies auto in 2018.
Preterm and teenage births are more common in Soundview and Parkchester than in other places citywide. In Soundview and Parkchester, there were 106 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 26.4 teenage births per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide).:11 Soundview and Parkchester has a relatively average population of residents who are uninsured. In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 16%, higher than the citywide rate of 14%.:14
The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in Soundview and Parkchester is 0.0076 milligrams per cubic metre (7.6×10−9 oz/cu ft), more than the city average.:9 Eighteen percent of Soundview and Parkchester residents are smokers, which is higher than the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.:13 In Soundview and Parkchester, 32% of residents are obese, 16% are diabetic, and 34% have high blood pressure—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.:16 In addition, 25% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.:12
Eighty-three percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is less than the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 72% of residents described their health as "good," "very good," or "excellent," lower than the city's average of 78%.:13 For every supermarket in Soundview and Parkchester, there are 13 bodegas.:10
The nearest hospital campuses are Montefiore Medical Center's Westchester Square and West Farms campuses, as well as Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center's Longwood campus. The nearest large hospital is NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi in Morris Park.
Post offices and ZIP codesEdit
Soundview is located within two ZIP Codes. The area north of Bruckner Expressway/Interstate 278 is in 10472, while the area south of Bruckner Expressway/I-278 is in 10473. The United States Postal Service operates three post offices nearby:
Soundview and Parkchester generally have a similar rate of college-educated residents to the rest of the city. While 23% of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, 30% have less than a high school education and 47% are high school graduates or have some college education. By contrast, 26% of Bronx residents and 43% of city residents have a college education or higher.:6 The percentage of Soundview and Parkchester students excelling in math rose from 23% in 2000 to 44% in 2011, and reading achievement increased from 27% to 30% during the same time period.
Soundview and Parkchester's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is higher than the rest of New York City. In Soundview and Parkchester, 28% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, more than the citywide average of 20%.:24 (PDF p. 55):6 Additionally, 69% of high school students in Soundview and Parkchester graduate on time, lower than the citywide average of 75%.:6
The following public schools are located in Soundview:
- P.S. 93 Albert G Oliver (1535 Story Ave)
- P.S. 69 Journey Prep School (560 Theriot Ave)
- P.S. 100 Isaac Clason (800 Taylor Ave)
- P.S. 107 (1695 Seward Ave) Boys Prep Elementary Charter School
- Bronx Arena High School (1440 Story Ave)
- Felisa Rincon De Gautier Institute For Law And Pub High School (1440 Story Ave)
- Bronx Public School 152 (1007 Evergreen Ave)
- Junior High School 123 James M Kiernan (1025 Morrison Ave)
- Junior High School 131 Albert Einstein (885 Bolton Ave)
- Soundview Academy For Culture And Scholarship (885 Bolton Ave)
- Metropolitan Lighthouse Charter School
There is also one parochial school:
The New York Public Library (NYPL) operates three branches near Soundview.
- The Clason's Point branch is located at 1215 Morrison Avenue. The branch opened in 1952 and moved to its current location in 1971.
- The Parkchester branch is located at 1985 Westchester Avenue. The branch opened in 1942 within the Parkchester development and moved to its current two-story structure in 1985.
- The Soundview branch is located at 660 Soundview Avenue. The branch opened at this location in 1973.
The IRT Pelham Line, an elevated New York City Subway line serving the 6 and <6> trains, traverses southwest to northeast through the neighborhood, along Westchester Avenue.: The following MTA Regional Bus Operations bus routes serve Morris Park: Morris Park is also served by the following Bee-Line Bus System routes to Westchester County, New York:
- Bx4: to Westchester Square (6 train) or Third Avenue-149th Street (2 and 5 trains) (via Westchester Avenue)
- Bx4A: to Westchester Square (6 train) or Third Avenue-149th Street (2 and 5 trains) (via Westchester Avenue and Metropolitan Oval)
- Bx5: to Pelham Bay Park (6 train) or Simpson Street (2 and 5 trains) (via Story Avenue)
- Bx27: to Simpson Street (2 and 5 trains) or Clason Point (via Rosedale Avenue)
- Bx36: to Pugsley–Randall Avenues or George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal (via 180th Street)
- Bx39: to Wakefield–241st Street (2 train) or Clason Point (via White Plains Rd)
- Phil Spector, producer, songwriter, and originator of the "Wall of Sound" was born and raised in Soundview.
- Marcus Jansen renowned Urban/expressionist painter resided on Boynton Avenue near Soundview Park in the Boynton Apartments.
- Kemba Walker, point guard for the Charlotte Hornets, grew up at the Sack Wern Houses.
- KRS-One once resided in a group home on Lacombe Avenue near the Soundview Houses.
- The Jazzy Five MCs are the first rappers from the Soundview Houses.
- DJ Jazzy Jay is from Bronx River Houses.
- Senior Management Executive of Roc Nation Shawn "Pecas" Costner lived in Soundview.
- Several members of the Hip Hop group Money Boss Players, including Lord Tariq—also known for his work as part of the duo Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz—hail from the Soundview Houses.
- Actor Yaphet Kotto grew up in Soundview Houses.
- Owner of World-famous Harlem Establishment Sylvia's Restaurant Sylvia Woods, had residences in the Soundview-Bruckner neighborhood.
- Treston Irby from R&B quintet Hi-Five is from Stevenson Commons.
- Serial killer David Berkowitz, also known as Son of Sam, Lived in the neighborhood as a child.
- Ruff Ryders recording artist Drag-On and legendary hip hop DJ Disco King Mario are from the Bronxdale Houses.
- Afrika Bambaataa is from Bronx River Houses, which is considered the foundation of hip hop's legendary Zulu Nation. He was also a member of the Black Spades which began in the Bronxdale Houses.
- The late Big Pun grew up on Commonwealth Avenue in Soundview.
- Professional bodybuilder and exotic dancer Rodney St. Cloud grew up in Soundview and attended P.S 100 and Adlai E. Stevenson High School.
- Alicia Keys's former manager and music industry professional Jeff Robinson grew up in Bronxdale Houses.
- Sex Money Murder street gang founder Peter Rollock, or Pistol Pete from Soundview Houses.
- Ahmed Best, voice of Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars movies.
- Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. Supreme Court Justice 2009–, grew up in the Bronxdale Houses.
- Four time New York Golden Gloves champion and former heavyweight boxer Mitch "Blood" Green lived in Bronxdale Houses, and was a member of the Black Spades.
- Former welterweight boxing champion Aaron Davis is from Bronxdale Houses.
- Uptown Records founder and former CEO of Motown Andre Harrell is from Bronxdale Houses.
- Former NBA player Ed Pinckney is from Monroe Houses.
- Wesley Snipes lived in Soundview, attending I.S. 131.
- Hip Hop producer/rapper Jesse West (3rd Eye) is from Bronx River Houses.
- Girl group The Chiffons, known for their 1963 hit He's So Fine, are from Bronx River Houses.
- Author Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed. grew up on Soundview and Banyer Place and attended Holy Cross School.
- Jules Feiffer, cartoonist, playwright, and author, grew up on Stratford Avenue
- Olympic gymnast John Orozco
- The original members of the Latin Rock band Seguida are from Soundview
- Record producer and songwriter, Ron Rogers, composer of the 1979 disco hit Deputy of Love and other dance records is from Soundview.
- August Darnell, member of disco band Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band and lead singer of Kid Creole and the Coconuts is from Soundview.
- "NYC Planning | Community Profiles". communityprofiles.planning.nyc.gov. New York City Department of City Planning. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
- "Soundview neighborhood in New York". Retrieved November 23, 2015.
- "NYPD – 43rd Precinct". www.nyc.gov. New York City Police Department. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
- Newman, Maria. "CLASON POINT GARDENS JOURNAL; For 50 Years a Home, a Real Home". The New York Times. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
- Cooper, Michael. "Officers in Bronx Fire 41 Shots, And an Unarmed Man Is Killed". The New York Times. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
- Table PL-P5 NTA: Total Population and Persons Per Acre - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, February 2012. Accessed June 16, 2016.
- Table PL-P3A NTA: Total Population by Mutually Exclusive Race and Hispanic Origin - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, March 29, 2011. Accessed June 14, 2016.
- "Parkchester and Soundview (Including Bronx River, Castle Hill, Clason Point, Parkchester, Soundview, Soundview-Bruckner and Unionport)" (PDF). nyc.gov. NYC Health. 2018. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
- "2016-2018 Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan: Take Care New York 2020" (PDF). nyc.gov. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. 2016. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
- "New Yorkers are living longer, happier and healthier lives". New York Post. June 4, 2017. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
- "NYC-Bronx Community District 9--Castle Hill, Clason Point & Parkchester PUMA, NY". Retrieved July 17, 2018.
- NYC Parks Soundview Park
- Cusano, Arthur (September 2–8, 2016). "'Groundbreaking' fix up for Parque de los Ninos". Bronx Times Reporter. p. 18.
- NYCHA Archived May 25, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
- "Soundview: Parkchester, Castle Hill – DNAinfo.com Crime and Safety Report". www.dnainfo.com. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- "43rd Precinct CompStat Report" (PDF). www.nyc.gov. New York City Police Department. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
- "Engine Company 96/Ladder Company 54". FDNYtrucks.com. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "FDNY Firehouse Listing – Location of Firehouses and companies". NYC Open Data; Socrata. New York City Fire Department. September 10, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Best 30 Hospitals in Bronx, NY with Reviews". Yellow Pages. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Riverdale, New York City-Bronx, New York Zip Code Boundary Map (NY)". United States Zip Code Boundary Map (USA). Retrieved March 16, 2019.
- "Location Details: Clason Point". USPS.com. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
- "Location Details: Cornell". USPS.com. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
- "Location Details: Soundview". USPS.com. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
- "Parkchester / Soundview – BX 09" (PDF). Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
- "Soundview New York School Ratings and Reviews". Zillow. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
- "About the Clason's Point Library". The New York Public Library. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "About the Parkchester Library". The New York Public Library. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "About the Soundview Library". The New York Public Library. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Subway Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. May 1, 2019. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
- "Bronx Bus Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. September 2017. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
- "Routes and Schedules: Soundview". NYC Ferry.
- Rosenberg, Zoe (August 1, 2018). "NYC Ferry's Soundview, Lower East Side routes will launch this month". Curbed NY. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
- "JAZZY JAY INTERVIEW". Retrieved November 23, 2015.
- "David Berkowitz "Son of Sam"" (PDF). Retrieved August 24, 2015.
- Chang, Jeff; D.J. Kool Herc (2005). Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation. New York: Picador. p. 48. ISBN 0-312-42579-1. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
- Louie, Elaine (August 13, 1998). "Harlem Renaissance Meets Martha Stewart". The New York Times. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
- Pinckney, Ed; Gordon, Robert (2004). Ed Pinckney's Tales from the Villanova Hardwood. Champaign, IL: Sports Publishing LLC. p. 4. ISBN 1-58261-809-7. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
- Backing into Forward: A Memoir, p. 51