One of Bronxville's Least Attractive Locations to Get Face-Lift Print


June 1, 2011:  The Paxton Avenue parking lot area, arguably one of the least attractive areas in Bronxville, is it about to get a face-lift.

In a neighborhood that suggests a "gasoline alley" due to the number of garages and repair shops located there and around the corner on Milburn Avenue, the owner of the parking lot, Paxton Avenue Partners, L.P., and his representatives came before the Planning Board and Design Review Committee on May 11 to win approval for new landscaping.

Bronxville resident and landscape architect Maureen Hackett was commissioned to design the landscape plan, which incorporates the planting of nine deciduous hardwood trees and masses of evergreen shrubbery to provide a green canopy overhead as one walks along the Paxton Avenue sidewalk, as well as a screening of hedges on the pedestrian level of the parking lot.

The trees proposed are red maple, American elm, and fall-blooming cherry.  Yew bushes, fountain grass, and juniper will be used around the parking lot to screen the view and provide ground cover.  Liriope muscari also will be used as a ground cover where needed.

"Although the lot is on the outskirts of town," noted Hackett, "it is often the first thing visitors and residents view when approaching from the Bronx River Parkway."  She explained, "Being a parking lot with many square feet of asphalt, it is the type of site that creates a heat island effect and also puts a strain on the storm water system.  Increasing green areas reduces heat, increases oxygen, and reduces the amount of runoff going into our overburdened storm water catchments."  Hence, in addition to aesthetics, the new landscaping will have a positive environmental impact on the area.

The property is currently being leased for 10 years by Lawrence Hospital Center to provide 150 parking spaces for hospital employees for which it pays $1 a day.  From 1936 to 1997 the property served as the showroom and garage for the Smith Cairns Ford auto dealership.  The site and adjoining property owned by the partnership is valued at about $2 million for tax purposes, and the partnership continues to pay property taxes to the village.

After completion of the presentation and after some clarifying questions asked by members of the planning board, a vote to approve the projected was taken and passed.

Pictured here:  Paxton Avenue parking lot, where new landscaping will be installed.

Photo by A. Warner