A Hudson Yards-style development in the Bronx has been talked about for quite some time now, and New York State formalized those talks last month when it issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI) for a development area north of Willis Avenue Bridge in Mott Haven, Crain’s reports.
Empire State Development is looking for a developer to either buy or lease the 13-acre rail yard that sits just north of the bridge. They want this developer to deck over the rail yard and then build a residential or a mixed-use project on top.
Such a project would be just a little less than half the size of the Hudson Yards project in Manhattan, a Hudson Yards lite if you will. That rail yard in question is currently used as a transfer station, and the State wants to maintain this function even after the deck is built on top.
The rail yard is part of a larger area called the Harlem River Yards and is owned by the Department of Transportation. The area falls under what’s called a general project plan, and hence the State will not be required to get zoning approvals from any local civic bodies. Instead the State would be able to process any potential application for the site on its own.
In February this year, Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr. released a plan to deck Concourse Yard, which is a subway depot next to Lehman College. That area is further up north from 13-acre site proposed by the State, but it points to an increased interest in the borough to utilize available real estate in a creative manner. The state is also hoping that any developer of that site will also activate the waterfront when the project is built.
Not too far away from the Willis Avenue Bridge site, several groups have also tried to revitalize the area surrounding the abandoned railway line in Port Morris as well.