Not only did the Times recently name the South Bronx one of this year’s hottest travel destinations, but the up-and-coming ‘hood has become a hotbed for new development. Many of these include affordable housing, which is the case at Bronx Commons, a mixed-use development in the Melrose Commons neighborhood that broke ground this morning. The $160 million project includes 305 all-affordable apartments, retail, and a landscaped public plaza, all of which will be anchored by the Bronx Music Hall, a new 300-seat venue that will serve as an “arts-centered community hub focused on the deeply rooted history of cutting edge Bronx music,” according to a press release from developers WHEDco and BFC Partners.
Bronx Commons is the last undeveloped plot at the 35-block Melrose Commons Urban Renewal Area, which was first enacted in 1994. By bringing this new 426,000-square-foot development to the neighborhood, the developers hope to accomplish four goals:
- Celebrate the rich musical heritage of the Bronx by drawing upon and restoring pride in its history
- Meet the need for affordable housing options in the Bronx
- Bring housing together with the arts, open green space, and health and fitness initiatives
- Utilize the arts as a means of catalyzing the renewal of a neighborhood rich in history and culture
The affordable apartments, a mix of studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, hope to attract a diverse group of New Yorkers, ranging from households earning 30 percent of the area media income to 110 percent and including families exiting the shelter system. This includes those earning as little as $4,000 annually up to those earning $115,600. The unit breakdown is as follows:
- 5 percent for families exiting New York City’s homeless shelter system
- 10 percent for households at 30% AMI
- 20 percent for households at 50% AMI
- 25 percent for households at 60% AMI
- 40 percent for families between 80%-110% of AMI
As for the 14,000-square-foot Music Hall, it’s being designed by WXY Architecture + Urban Design (the architects for the greater Bronx Commons projects are Danois) and will include the 300-seat flexible performance space, exhibit areas, music and dance rehearsal spaces, a cafe, and an outdoor performance space and recreation area.
Of the project’s $160 million cost, $11.4 million will go towards the Music Hall. It’s being largely funded with city and state dollars and is expected to be complete in 2019.
- Former juvenile jail in Hunts Point will be replaced with $300M mixed-use affordable housing complex
- State seeks proposals for massive development above South Bronx rail yard tracks
- Bronx building boom leads to a population comeback not seen in over 40 years
- See how Keith Rubenstein’s trio of South Bronx towers will transform the ‘Piano District’ skyline
Renderings via WXY and Local Projects