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.
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.
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.
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.
Controversial South Bronx Developer Keith Rubenstein of Somerset Partners, along with the Chetrit Group, received approvals earlier this summer for a two-site, six-tower, mixed-use master plan on the Mott Haven banks of the Harlem River. This is the same project that Rubenstein touted as part of his campaign to rebrand the southern portion of the borough as the “Piano District,” a marketing ploy that nodded to the piano manufacturers that dotted the area 100 years ago, but that featured a misguided party with burning trash cans and a bullet-ridden car, referencing the horrible “Bronx is burning” days of the 1970s.
Contention aside, the development is moving ahead, and CityRealty.com has a 360-degree look at how the first site’s three towers (two at 20 stories and one at 25) will transform the South Bronx skyline. These buildings at 2401 Third Avenue will rise just to the northwest of the Third Avenue Bridge, the former site of an 1880s iron works building that will soon boast $3,500/month apartments.
Controversial South Bronx Developer Keith Rubenstein of Somerset Partners has purchased a 16,000-square-foot warehouse (expandable to 30,000 square feet) at 9 Bruckner Boulevard for $7.5 million and intends to create a Gansevoort Market-style food hall called Bruckner Market, reports The Real Deal.
According to the developer, who purchased two other South Bronx waterfront sites last year, the space will offer a fresh food market, kiosks and restaurants and may have a beer garden, though he made a point of addressing how the new addition will affect the community: “It will provide great food and beverage options at affordable prices for the existing community and new community.”
Taking a break from his glitzy builds like the Via tetrahedron and 2 World Trade Center, starchitect Bjarke Ingels is taking on a project that is much more modest, yet just as laudable–a station house for the NYPD’s 40th Precinct in the South Bronx (h/t Curbed). The $50 million commission, facilitated under the Department of Design and Construction, is located in the Melrose section of the borough and will resemble a “stack of bricks,” according BIG’s website, “referencing the rusticated bases of early NYC police stations.” Spanning three stories, rising 59 feet, and encompassing 43,000 square feet, the precinct will be the first ever to include a green roof, not surprising considering Ingels’ commitment to incorporating nature into his buildings.