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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kingsbridge still a way station for immigrants

(Page 3 of 5)
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A step street heads up to Kingsbridge Heights on West 229th Street.

Photo by Karsten Moran

Though increased diversity has not brought strife to Kingsbridge, once you move away from the commercial hub near West 231st Street and Broadway — with its bus stops, diners and coffee shops — topographical boundaries split the area into distinct sections that sometimes fall along racial and class lines that not everyone crosses.

“The socioeconomic thing, I think, is really about Broadway,” said Neill Bogan director of development at the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, noting that the street runs between middle class and low-income neighborhoods.

For Mr. Segal, it also marks the division between different groups of immigrants.

“The old-time residents are on the east of Broadway and the farther east you go is kind of the new wave of immigrants,” he said.

To the west, on Corlear, Tibbett and Irwin avenues, are small homes along tree-lined streets. The area has been called Kingsdale by shop owners either hoping to cash in Riverdale’s allure or contesting its boundaries. Residents, too, can go either way, considering themselves proud residents of Kingsbridge, or outliers to Riverdale, according to Brad Trebach of Trebach Realty. Mr. Trebach is also the vice chairman of Community Board 8.

East of Broadway, alongside Bailey Avenue, is the Major Deegan Expressway, which would have more distinctly split the neighborhood were it not built beneath streets that now flow across it. It did, however, displace the Church of the Visitation and it brought more residents and taller buildings in order to accommodate them. Some of the new apartments were built with public money — Housing Authority projects and Mitchell Lama middle income towers among them. The buildings created an urban feel not found in much of Kingsbridge, apart from its commercial center.

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