Metropolitan Realty Associates announced Tuesday night that Riverdale Crossing will not send its commercial trucks down Putnam Avenue West.
The announcement came after parents at Visitation School, located on the small street, spoke out against the developer’s previous plans to direct traffic there.
Developers for the eight-store Riverdale Crossing shopping complex scheduled to open at West 237th Street and Broadway next January, said in April that it planned to direct trucks for BJ’s Wholesale Club off the Major Deegan Expressway, west onto Van Cortlandt park South, south onto Putnam Avenue West and up a West 238th Street ramp to the mall.
Besides two ramps leading to rooftop parking from that intersection, Riverdale Crossing will include an entrance at West 237th Street and Broadway. The project will include 500 free parking spaces.
The trucking route concerned parents of the approximately 200 elementary and middle school students enrolled at Visitation School, which is located on the corner of West 239th Street and Putnam Avenue West.
The Riverdale Press’ print edition, which went to press before Community Board 8’s Tuesday night traffic and transportation meeting, ran a story about parents’ concerns for which Metropolitan Realty did not return repeated calls for comment. But the developer changed course at Tuesday night’s meeting.
After Church of Visitation pastor Msgr. Robert Larkin described how the second floor of the rectory shakes when trucks drive by and parents gave Community Board 8 Traffic and Transportation Committee members a petition against the route signed by 200 people, Joe Farkas, president and founder of Metropolitan Realty Associates, said the plan had changed.
“We’re not trucking down Putnam Avenue,” Mr. Farkas said. “There’s nothing that we would ever want to do to adversely impact your neighborhood.”
Asked what prompted the change, Mr. Farkas issued a statement saying there was “no need to have heavy trucks traverse Putnam Avenue West” and he’s happy the “local community is pleased with this outcome.”