File this one under things you won’t find in Brooklyn: This pretty, totally modernized 2,828 square-foot Queen Anne row house at 418 East 136th Street in the Bertine Block Historic District offers four bedrooms with room for more, and four stories of townhouse loveliness, all for the well-under-a-million price of $800,000. Caveats apply, of course: It’s a narrow house at only 14 feet wide, and single-family so no rental income if you live there. But The Bronx is the place to be if you’re looking for townhouse living for under a mil.
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.
An early rendering of the project, via CityLand
In April, the affordable housing lottery commenced for 79 units at Building A of the Bronx’s Crotona Terrace development in Crotona Park East. Now, 107 additional apartments are up for grabs at Building B, ranging from $368/month studios to $1,740/month three-bedrooms, broken down for those earning no more than 30, 40, 50, 60, or 100 percent of the area media income. This mixed-income setup is similar to other projects in the Crotona Park East neighborhood, which was rezoned nearly six years ago to allow more residential in a historically industrial area to create increased affordable housing.
In addition to far-flung and exotic locales such as Kazakhstan, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Sikkim, India, and Marrakesh, Morocco, the New York Times has added to its list of “52 Places to Go in 2017” several cities across the U.S. on the cusp of gentrification or about to make a comeback. One of these is the South Bronx, subtitled as “an industrial neighborhood’s revival.” They point to the ‘hood’s declining crime rates, wave of new development, and, of course, burgeoning foodie scene.
2016 saw a huge influx of new affordable housing developments and subsequent lotteries in the Bronx, and the new year is kicking off with yet another. As of Thursday, qualifying New Yorkers can apply for seven brand new units at 74 West Tremont Avenue, a small, eight-story building in the borough’s easily accessible Morris Heights neighborhood. The availabilities include $1,292/month one-bedrooms and $1,458/month two-bedrooms for those earning 80 percent of the area media income.
Photograph by Jeff Liao, courtesy of the Bronx Museum
Starting tomorrow, qualifying New Yorkers can apply for 59 newly renovated, affordable apartments throughout the South Bronx. Spread across six addresses (1171 Clay Avenue, 1183 Clay Avenue, 1202 Clay Avenue, 384 Grand Concourse, 1129 Morrison Avenue and 1038 Rogers Place), the units are all nearby in the Grand Concourse, Soundview, Foxhurst, and Mott Haven neighborhoods. The availabilities are for those earning 100, 60, and 50 percent of the area media income, ranging from $822/month studios to $1,875/month three-bedrooms.
When the West Farms Redevelopment Plan came to fruition in 2011, it was the largest private rezoning ever in the Bronx. The 17-acre, 11-block site in Crotona Park East was a former industrial area that’s being transformed according to a master plan by Dattner Architects that calls for a total of 1,325 units of affordable housing and 46,000 square feet of retail space and community facilities. The first two buildings in the complex, also designed by Dattner, are called the Compass Residences and offer 237 units organized around a series of “gracious courtyards.” As of today, 114 of these apartments are available through the city’s affordable housing lottery. They’re open to individuals earning 60 percent of the area media income and range from $822/month studios to $1,224/month three-bedrooms.
As the city’s land costs rise, interest has been focused on the South Bronx, including the potential for a huge waterfront development above the MTA’s Concourse Yards, as 6sqft previously reported. Now, Crains reports that Empire State Development (ESD) has invited developers to present offers for leasing or purchasing a 13-acre South Bronx rail yard along the Harlem River just north of the Willis Avenue Bridge and decking it over to build a residential or mixed-use project.
As of tomorrow, nine brand new units in the Belmont section of the Bronx will become available through the city’s affordable housing lottery. Located just a block from the Bronx Zoo and within walking distance to the New York Botanical Garden, the seven-story, 41-unit building at 2346 Prospect Avenue was recently constructed by the Stagg Group and Badaly Architects and also has ground-floor community facility space. The available apartments, open to those earning 80 percent of the area media income, include four one-bedrooms for $1,348/month and five two-bedrooms for $1,521/month.
An overhead rendering of the Edible Academy complex. Image: Cooper Robertson
The New York Botanical Garden’s Edible Academy—an agricultural education platform providing hands-on activities and interactive programs for children in the Bronx and Greater New York City area—broke ground on their new building complex last Thursday, October 27. The $28 million facility, which will be completed in the Spring of 2018, will double the number of on-site learners to 100,000 annually in at attempt to expand the group’s garden-based educational programs. The new complex will include display gardens, a teaching greenhouse, and terraced amphitheater, with new programming to include after-school classes, one-day gardening workshops, and week-long institutes for K-8 and high school students and teachers.
When it comes to affordable housing, the Bronx is booming. 6sqft previously reported that proposals were being heard to bring 1,665 affordable apartments to the site of the Bronx Zoo-bordering Lambert Houses, which would double the development’s current affordable housing units, triple the existing retail space, create a new public school, and help to better integrate the community into the surrounding neighborhood. As reported by the Times, Phipps Houses, the complex’s nonprofit owner and developer, has moved ahead on plans to demolish the existing 14 buildings and build taller towers, a project that’s gotten a $600 million price tag.
Former juvenile jail in Hunts Point will be replaced with $300M mixed-use affordable housing complex, Thu, October 27, 2016
Rendering courtesy of WXY Architecture + Urban Design
The Spofford Juvenile Detention Center (later renamed Bridges Juvenile Center) was built in 1957 in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx, quickly gaining a reputation for its poor conditions–the Daily News once described it as “vermin-infested” and said it “held about 100 youth in dark cells with no air conditioning.” It was closed in 2011, at which time urban revitalization consultant Majora Carter began her quest to have the site transformed into a mixed-use housing complex. The city eventually stepped in, and today officials announced plans for the Peninsula, an affordable housing development that will rise on the five-acre site and offer 740 apartments, 52,000 square feet of open and recreational space, 49,000 square feet of light industrial space, 48,000 square feet for community facilities like health care providers, 21,000 square feet of retail, and 15,000 square feet of artist space, reports the Wall Street Journal.
With one location each in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island and seven in Manhattan alone, Bronx leaders are urging Apple CEO Tim Cook to consider their borough for a potential retail store. “An Apple Store in The Bronx would complete your company’s presence within New York City, while also allowing your company to become part of the continued positive transformation of our borough,” a letter to Cook dated Oct. 13 and signed by 26 borough leaders said.
Though few would deny that Donald Trump enjoys placing himself in the spotlight, WNYC reports that the Republican presidential nominee has a history of claiming to save the day on public projects when it turns out that he didn’t hold up his end of the bargain, and the city ended up holding the bag. Among his supporters, Trump has a reputation for stepping in to rescue abandoned city projects, a favorite example being Central Park’s Wollman Ice Rink. About thirty years ago, the rink had fallen into disrepair and had sat unused for six years due to the city’s inability to find the funds or move past the red tape involved in fixing it. Trump brought his “get it done” attitude to the project, offering to help fix the rink. In 1986, the city agreed to let him lend a hand. Though Trump completed the repairs on time and under budget, the rink repair job wasn’t the act of philanthropy–nor the ongoing financial bonus for the city–that the candidate claims it was.
Rendering of 1776 Boston Road via DPGroup (L); Google Street View of the site in June 2016
Almost exactly two years ago to the date, High Hawk LLC broke ground on a new 72-unit, mixed-income affordable housing development at a long-underutilized site at 1776 Boston Road in Crotona Park East. Known as the High Hawk Apartments, the eight-story building also offers three tenant recreation areas, commercial and retail space, a ground-floor community facility, and a below-grade parking garage. The city aimed to “increase income diversity” in the Bronx neighborhood by dividing the apartments with 18 reserved for households earning less than 60 percent of the area media income and 54 reserved for those earning less than 100 percent. The former group ranges from a $788/month studio to $1,182/month three-bedrooms, while the latter ranges from $1,208/month one-bedrooms to $1,683/month three-bedrooms.
Mike’s Deli in Arthur Avenue Retail Market. Photo: Bronx Borough President Office
If you’ve slurped oysters outside a seafood market, taken a bite of burrata or savored cannoli on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, this distinction might not be news to you. Arthur Avenue, which some call “the real Little Italy,” will join the American Planning Association’s “Great Streets of America.”
Google Earth view of the current Lambert Houses
When it comes to the Mayor’s affordable housing push, the Bronx is a force to be reckoned with. Not only were more than 43 percent of these units constructed in the first half of the year in the borough, but the City Council recently approved the La Central development, which will bring nearly 1,000 affordable units to Melrose under de Blasio’s mandatory inclusionary housing legislation. Though not part of MIH, another new project may one-up this, ushering in a whopping 1,665 affordable apartments on the site of the Bronx Zoo-bordering Lambert Houses. As CityRealty.com explains, “If proposals are approved, the new mega-development will feature more than double the affordable housing units and triple the existing retail space, create a new public school, and better integrate the community into the surrounding neighborhood.”
Image © Thomas X. Casey, BronxNYC
A recent report from the New York Building Congress outlined how the Bronx had outpaced four-year frontrunner Brooklyn for the most residential permits issued, which was attributed in large part to the affordable housing push in the borough. And a story in the Times today takes a wider look at the borough’s resurgence, noting that this building boom has led to a “population comeback” not seen since the 1970s.
On Wednesday the New York City Council voted to approve the La Central development project in the Melrose section of the Bronx, the Daily News reports. The project, which will be designed by FXFOWLE architects, is slated to bring 992 apartments to the borough, all of them designated as affordable housing under Mayor de Blasio’s mandatory inclusionary housing (MIH) legislation. It is the biggest project to be approved to date under the MIH rules, which require some income restricted apartments in projects that need the city’s approval.
The well-tended Fieldston Historic District–one of New York City’s only privately owned neighborhoods–in the Bronx neighborhood of Riverdale is considered one of the city’s best-preserved early 20th century suburbs, unique for its collection of revival-style Tudor, Mediterranean, and Colonial homes. One of those homes, an unassuming but charming Tudor at 4746 Iselin Avenue, is now on the market for $2.1 million. In addition to suburban tranquility with a New York City address, the home comes with a jazzy footnote of fame: It was once home to legendary jazz singer, bandleader and Cotton Club regular Cab Calloway, who died in 1994 at the age of 86.
Built in around 1932, the house offers five bedrooms, original details, lovely restorations and lots of modern comforts–all just twenty minutes from Lincoln Center. The home consists of two stories for living and entertaining and some particularly magical outdoor spaces for gardening and relaxing.