Soundview is a low income residential neighborhood geographically located in the south central section of the borough of the Bronx in New York City. The neighborhood is part of Bronx Community Board 9. 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 along the center and the Bronx River Parkway runs north to south. Soundview Avenue is the primary thoroughfare through Soundview. The local subway is the 6 line, operating along Westchester Avenue. Zip codes include 10472 and 10473. The area is patrolled by the 43rd Precinct located at 900 Fteley Avenue. New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) property in the area is patrolled by P.S.A. 8 at 2794 Randall Avenue in the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx.
In the 1950s and 1960s along with expressways, many more low income public housing projects were constructed in the area. The Bronx River Houses were built in 1951 on Harrod Avenue and East 174th Street. Nine highrise towers built on a single super block.
The next development to be built in 1954 was the Soundview Houses immediately to the south of the Clason Point Gardens at the corner of Randall and Rosedale Avenues. This development spans two super blocks with 13 seven-story apartment buildings. Due to the developments isolation and demographics the complex quickly fell into decay and crime skyrocketed.
After the Soundview Houses were completed the NYCHA constructed the Bronxdale Houses one block north of the Clason Point Gardens along Bruckner Blvd between Soundview and Thieriot Avenues. This development spans three super blocks for a total of 28 seven-story buildings.
The James Monroe Houses were built to the immediate south of the Bronxdale Houses in 1961. Located at Rosedale and Story Avenues. Two superblocks totaling 12 highrise buildings. Although the blocks selected for these developments were relatively undeveloped older homes had still been either moved or destroyed for construction.
In 1966 two additional highrise buildings were added to the Bronx River Houses under the management name Bronx River Addition.
In 1970 1471 Watson Avenue was built to provide housing to the areas quickly growing low income demographic.
In 1977 the Sack Wern Houses were built in two separate yet close locations in the area on vacant lots. Two buildings were built on Taylor and Lafayette Avenues just south of the James Monroe Houses. Another five buildings were built on Noble and Lafayette Avenues, immediately adjacent to both the Clason Point Gardens and Soundview Houses.
The most recent NYCHA development in the area has been the Boynton Avenue Rehabs located at Boynton and Watson Avenues. These 3 formally abandoned buildings were renovated in 1985 to provide low income housing to the area.
In the 1970s many Mitchell-Lama subsidized public housing towers were built in the area. Stevenson Commons, Evergreen Gardens, Boynton and Morrison Lafayette, Carroll Gardens, Leland Houses, and many others.
Like neighboring Hunts Point, Soundview began to fall into decay due to White flight and a growing generational low income population. This flight started as early as the construction of the Clason Point Gardens in the 1940s. However the real flight began to take a hold of the neighborhood after the Bronx River Houses were completed. After a few stable years many more generationally poor families relocated into the development and it began to decay very quickly. As a result the surrounding neighborhood began to see flight. This repeated itself around all the public housing developments in the area. Abandonment was a problem as the flight picked up pace but much of the White population was being quickly replaced by Puerto Ricans and African Americans. So abandonment had not reached the scope it had in neighborhoods further west like Morrisania.
In the 1960s youth gangs began to spring up across the community. The Black Spades are originally from the Bronxdale Houses. Eventually they became the dominant street gang in the area controlling every housing project in the neighborhood. The Black Spades soon became one of the most feared gangs in NYC.
In the 1970s heroin took a hold of the neighborhood. Thanks to the local consumer base and expressways the drug trade thrived. The same occurred when crack hit the streets in the mid 1980s. Through much of the crack epidemic, Soundview had one of the top 10 total homicides citywide. Crack houses sprouted up across the area, in both abandoned or occupied homes and apartments. In some cases entire buildings were part of the operation involving crack and other illicit drugs. One such building was "The Hole" located on Watson Avenue. A 6 story abandoned building with a hole on the side of the ground floor exterior facing wall. Drug dealers would use the wall to protect them from drive by shootings. The NYPD attacked this building numerous times throughout the crack epidemic. Each time they managed to finally clear the building, a new drug crew would set up shop soon after. This was just one of the many major crack locations in the neighborhood and one of thousands across the city. During this 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.
The Soundview Houses have always been a troublesome development since their inception. Many blame this on the fact it is the southernmost development in the community surrounded by many other public housing projects. Therefor it is highly isolated. From this development spawned the Sex Money Murder Bloods (S.M.M.) street gang. Quickly spread across the neighborhood and became the dominant force in the area. Controlling every housing project much like the Black Spades before them. When founder Pistol Pete (Peter Rollack) was arrested and charged with multiple counts of homicide the gang affiliated themselves with United Bloods Nation street gang. This gang was notorious for extortion, racketeering, drugs trafficking, and numerous violent crimes. In 1999-2000 the Sex, Money, Murda gang faced a major blow when the NYPD along with the F.B.I. raided the development and arrested key members for various crimes. Still in 2002 Soundview was named the murder capital of NYC. Recently the area was highlighted as the car theft capital of NYC.
Because of the poverty and low income demographic crime is still a problem in the Soundview community as it is in many other sections of the Bronx. Crime has declined versus its peaks during the crack and heroin epidemics but it is still a major concern in the community. Other problems such as poverty, homelessness, drug addiction, gangs, teen pregnancy and many other social issues have seen little to no changes in Soundview and many other low income Bronx neighborhoods. In 2003 the 43rd precinct which covers Soundview was designated additional officers for Operation Impact. Watson Avenue, particularly between Bronx River Avenue and the Bronxdale Houses is one of the most violent open air drug markets in the United States. Surrounded by 4 highways, Watson Avenue and its cross streets are a mega-point for drugs, particularly Heroin, for the New York City suburbs, smaller city dealers and city based addicts.
Many social problems associated with poverty from crime to drug addiction have plagued the area for some time. Despite crime declines versus their peaks during the crack and heroin epidemics violent crime continues to be a serious problem in the community. Soundview has significantly higher drop out rates and incidents of violence in its schools. Students must pass through metal detectors and swipe ID cards to enter the buildings. Other problems in local schools include low test scores and high truancy rates. Drug addiction is also a serious problem in the community. Due to the lucrative drug trade in the area many addicted reside in the community. Peer pressure among children who come from broken homes contributes to the high rate of usage. Many households in the area are headed by a single mother which contributes to the high poverty rate. Many of whom had their children at a very young age and unfortunately could not provide for their children. Many of the families living in Soundview have been in poverty for generations. The incarceration rate in the area is also very high. Many if not most males in the community have been arrested at some point in their lives. This has a direct correlation to aggressive policing tactics including "sweeps" due to the area's high crime rate. Soundview is home to a significant number of inmates currently held in New York state prison and jail facilities. Wlid shootouts & mugging robbery a.k.a. stick up happends on a daily basics shootings in the high school along with volent murders education low amoung young african american men & women gun fights a.k.a. gun play any time of the day no matter what