South Bronx Building Boom

My transit-oriented part of the South Bronx is undergoing a building boom, which is great to see. It’s partly the result of two rezonings from 2009, the Lower Concourse Rezoning, and the 161st Street/River Avenue Rezoning. Let’s take a look at what’s going on.

South Bronx Building Boom - 138th Street

Three new buildings under construction along 138th Street

This photo shows the three blocks under development along the northern side of E. 138th Street from Canal Place to Third Avenue, within the footprint of the Lower Concourse Rezoning.

In the foreground we have 221 E. 138th Street, which is slated to have 47 market-rate rental apartments on seven floors. Next is 255 E. 138th Street, an eight-story mixed-income residential building with 96 apartments above ground floor retail. The third building is part of an expansion of a supportive housing complex at the northeast corner of 138th Street and Third Avenue at 275 E. 138th Street and 2550 Third Avenue. Here the West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing is expanding the Borinquen Court complex with a total of 174 apartments for low-income seniors and the disabled combined with social support services and ground floor community oriented retail.

South Bronx building boom - 149th Street

Three new buildings in various stages of construction at 149th Street and Gerard Avenue.

This photo is taken from the corner of 146th Street and Gerard Avenue, looking northwest, inside the footprint of the Lower Concourse Rezoning, where we see that virtually an entire city block is rising. The building at left, nearing completion, is 500 Exterior Street, which reportedly will be a hotel with 69 rooms and parking for 29 cars. Next to it to the north is the rear facade of 530 Exterior Street, an apartment building with 157 apartments of affordable housing. At right, rising to the second story, we have 491 Gerard Avenue, a future 12-story apartment building slated to have 136 apartments of affordable housing.

Construction is slated to begin on two more buildings for this block. In the foreground we see the lot that will become 477 Gerard Avenue, planned as an apartment building with 66 market-rate rental apartments. And at the north end of the block and out of sight from the vantage point of this photo, will be 110 E. 149th Street, a hotel with 152 rooms and ground floor retail.

So if these reports are right, on a single very active block in the South Bronx, we’ll soon have two hotels with 221 rooms, and three apartment buildings with 359 apartments, 293 of which will be made available through the City’s affordable housing lotteries, and 66 to be rented out at market rates. The block formerly had housed an empty lot and a one-story food distribution warehouse. The only part that isn’t currently planned for construction is a flat tire fix-it shop at the northwest corner of the block, at 149th Street and Exterior Street, at the landing of a Major Deegan off-ramp.

810 River Avenue

810 River Avenue

This is 810 River Avenue, in the footprint of the 161st Street/River Avenue rezoning. Yankees fans might remember this site as the location of a former one-story bowling alley and bar across the street from the House that Ruth Built. The site is now on it’s way to hosting a 17-story mixed-use building with ground floor retail and 134 apartments of affordable housing looking out over the Heritage Field/Macombs Dam Park, which has taken the place of the former Yankee Stadium. It also has a parking garage for 61 cars that’s required by law even though it’s directly across the street from the B, D and 4 subway hub and a three-story full-block garage open 24/7/365 with more than 2,400 parking spaces. Maybe the bowling alley can come back to occupy the ground floor retail space that it used to occupy.

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