A Huge Development Complex Will Transform The South Bronx Waterfront
Market rate buildings with gyms, pools, pet care and a waterfront esplanade and more ushers in a whole new South Bronx.
What do large scale real estate developers and most struggling artists have in common? Imagination. That may be where the similarities end but there’s no doubt that it takes a lot of imagination (and money) to take a ragged stretch of warehouses and parking lots in the South Bronx and turn them into gleaming residential waterfront complexes with pet care facilities, gyms, a pool, bike storage, screening rooms, and cafés.
After much talk, renderings have finally surfaced for Mott Haven’s make-over and the transformation from grime to fine is nothing short of stunning. The market-rate project will consist of two buildings along the South Bronx waterfront at 2401 Third and 101 Lincoln Avenues, right by the Third Avenue Bridge. The developers are The Chetrit Group and Keith Rubenstein’s Somerset Partners.
The Third Avenue site will consist of two 25-story towers and one 16-story tower. It will include 430 apartments—164 studios, 96 one-bedrooms, 134 two-bedrooms and 36 three-bedrooms. The building will also feature a garage for 175 cars.
The 101 Lincoln Avenue site will consist of three 24-story towers and one 22-story tower. It will feature 849 apartments, 20,500 square feet of retail space and 1,100 square feet of space for a community facility.
The architects said in a statement (first published by New York YIMBY):
“The roof of the cellar podium, in those areas which surround the towers, is landscaped and set two feet above the 100-year flood plain. This landscaped deck, open on one side to the river and waterfront esplanade, serves as an entry court and drop-off to both lobbies and is accessed from Third Avenue through a distinctive porte-cochere.”
The projects are not expected to be completed until June and December of 2019. The fact that the developers have stated up front that the properties will all be market rents shows how confident they are about the rapidly escalating prices in the South Bronx. The latter, according to The New York Times, increased by the greatest amount in the city in 2016.
In the report, Mott Haven rents were up 14 percent, from $1,300 a month for a one-bedroom apartment to $1,480. The surge in development in the once and still (in places) blighted area has been welcomed by the de Blasio administration. They have fostered construction by proceeding with a $194 million plan to improve the infrastructure in a 30-block area on the Bronx side of the Harlem River.
Previous talk of development, however, had always included an affordable housing component. The fact that the new renderings state the opposite is sure to anger many community activist groups, whose fears were first stoked when developer Keith Rubenstein first put up a billboard in 2015, which attempted to brand the neighborhood as the The Piano District.
“I just think these things should happen naturally,” Ed Garcia Conde, a Bronx resident who founded a popular blog Welcome2TheBronx told The New York Times. “Why are we going to hand the golden key to developers and make it even easier for them to construct their market-rate housing?”