Even before Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced his plans for the redevelopment of a swath of land from 138th to 149th streets along the Harlem River into a publicly accessible waterfront park, the Concourse and Mott Haven neighborhoods of the Bronx have been seeing change (PDF!). But development of the so-called Special Harlem River Waterfront District, pushed for by city officials, would certainly speed up the slow gentrification. Proposals by Bronx officials calls for office and residential towers to bring as many as 1,500 apartments to the area, costing around $500 million. For some, this is exciting news. For others, it prompts exasperated fears of displacement. "Little by little, it's been changing over, ever since [late Yankees majority owner George] Steinbrenner started with the new Yankee Stadium," Tom Glacken Sr. of the long-standing eponymous Concourse-area bar told the Journal.
Data released by the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness claims that median rents in the proposed park's vicinity have already begun to rise, 10.5-percent between 2005 and 2010 to $954, and even more in the last four years. With proposed new housing and commercial buildings surrounding the esplanade reaching up to 400 feet, some neighborhood institutions may get priced-out. Large retailers like BJ's and Home Depot have already taken up retail space in the neighborhood, with online grocer Fresh Direct taking its warehouse to just south of the proposed redevelopment site. "The changes have been no asset to us but the neighborhood is getting better," Glacken told the Journal, "It might push some businesses out but we're not leaving."
· Pushing Change on the South Bronx Waterfront [WSJ]
· Mott Haven Open Space Index PDF [official]
· All Special Harlem River Waterfront District coverage [Curbed]