Bronx News Roundup, Friday, March 25

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Weather: Sunny, but still, sadly, cold. That goes for the whole weekend.

Story of the Day: The Holy Grail – A High-Class Bronx Hotel
During his February state of the borough speech at Clinton High School, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. dared mention the Holy Grail of Bronx BPs – the creation of a high-class hotel in our fair borough. Adolfo Carrion and Freddy Ferrer both tried to prioritize a new hotel to no avail. But Diaz believes he's recognized a simple solution this time: use one of the failing new Yankee Stadium parking garages that are “going belly up,” Diaz says in an article in the Daily News. Bronx Parking Development, which operates the garages, owes the city $10.6 million in back rent and a $6.9 million bond payment is due April 1. The garages are only being filled to 63 percent capacity on game days – perhaps it has something to do with the $35 fee – and their future doesn't appear bright. Bronx Parking negotiated a year reprieve with bondholders to make something happen. Either build on top of one of the garages, Diaz says, or just knock one down entirely and build a hotel in its stead. Some local residents said they'd like to see something for the community replace the garages, but Diaz says building a park won't pay off Bronx Parking's bonds. Plus: it's the Holy Grail!

Quick Hits:
City Limits breaks down the Census data released yesterday. A couple of Bronx tidbits that we didn't mention in yesterday's Census post (which includes an interactive map): Staten Island (+5.6%)) was the only borough that grew more than the Boogie Down ([Corrected] +3.9%, which still makes it the state's second fastest-growing county). However, the Bronx's white population dropped by 22%. Bloomberg says the city was “shortchanged” by some 225,000 people.

Lawyers for the four men convicted of planning to bomb two Riverdale synagogues have asked a judge to overturn the convictions.

Today is the 21st anniversary of the Happy Land fire, which killed 87 people in the Bronx, the largest mass killing in the city before 9/11.

The son of Bronx salsa legend Willie Colon was busted on pornography charges, police said.

A dead body was found floating in the Hudson River near Riverdale.

Speaking of Riverdale, the head of Shervier Nursing Care Center stepped down amid a lengthy investigation into the 350-bed institution's finances and other problems.

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