Another man's treasure: Turning an NYC dump into a fresh food hub

For decades, New York City has been on a mission to revitalize its land and reconnect with nature. In a city that is developed to a hilt, this can sometimes seem difficult. The Empire City is known for its huge trove of commercial and entertainment options, but less so for its open spaces and natural resources. Because of this, many residents had given up trying to improve the city's connection to the land.

Not Steven Smith. The former engineer and power plant developer saw a 28-acre section of undeveloped land in the South Bronx - one of the very few like it in the metro area - and decided to take on a quixotic, but ultimately inspiring, quest: to transform it into a local source of fresh food. In the process he has provided a well of hope for Bronx residents, as well as those looking for real estate in New York, NY.

Until he became its manager and steward - cashing out his retirement savings to do so - the property was an illegal garbage repository, according to the Daily News. When others looked at it, they saw a waste of space and an eye-sore. When Smith looked at it, he saw the same thing - but he decided to do something about it.

"It was forever going to be a dumping site," he told the news source. "We turned it into a viable piece of property."

It is more than viable. If there is one thing that many New Yorkers are craving, it is locally grown, healthy food. Smith's plan is to transform the former dump into a hub for local food grown in and around the city. It would provide a venue for GrowNYC's Wholesale Farmers Market - an outlet for hundreds of fruits, vegetables and more - as well as a source for nutrition information and prepared food.

Although his vision is far from realized, Smith is slowly turning this former garbage repository into a reason to move to the city. People who buy one of the homes for sale in New York, NY, will certainly appreciate the new source of some of the freshest foods in the state. And Smith is still filled with ideas. He has plans to found a food kitchen and plant a rooftop garden.

This news in not only good for the residents, it has a positive effect on the city itself.

"He can now house companies that bring jobs and pay taxes to the City of New York," Anthony Riccio, chairman of the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp., told the Daily News.