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Mapping the Crucial Developments That Will Reshape the Bronx

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For decades the Bronx has been ignored in the larger conversation of a changing New York City. But as big developers like Chetrit Group and Greystone turn their eyes north, and Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announces his lofty desires for creating a Brooklyn Bridge Park-style public space along the Harlem River, it seems like momentum is starting to build around the fledgling borough, especially in its southern portion. "The South Bronx has experienced an unprecedented amount of capital flowing in the past years over some major developments," Ed García Conde of Welcome2theBronx tells Curbed, referencing progressive mega developments like La Central and Via Verde. Also in the borough, landmarked buildings like the Bronx Borough Courthouse and more northernly Kingsbridge Armory are being appropriated for cultural events space. Here's a look at a few of the big things that will spearhead more change in the south Bronx.
—With input from Ed García Conde of Welcome2theBronx.


· Welcome2theBronx [official]
· All Bronx coverage [Curbed]

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1. Via Verde

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704 Brook Avenue
Bronx, NY 10455

This eco-friendly mixed-income rental and co-op development in the Bronx debuted in 2012 and, according to Welcome2theBronx, "transformed perception of what affordable housing can be." The building has luxe amenities like a gym, terraced rooftops with vegetable gardens, and harnesses solar power.

2. Opera House Hotel

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436 East 149th Street
New York, NY 10455
(718) 407-2800
Visit Website

The hotel in the former Bronx opera house is the first developed by Empire Hotel Group, of Belvedere and Lucerne fame, outside of Manhattan. The hotel will have been in operation for two years as of August, and has been pulling crowds for its proximity to Manhattan, especially Museum Mile, and its reasonable rates. A quick look at its reservation site says that rooms fluctuate around the $150/night mark.

3. The Umbrella Hotel

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681 Elton Avenue
Bronx, NY 10455

Another boutique hotel in Melrose, the Umbrella, will open up imminently. The seven-story, 56-room building will be the neighborhood's second boutique hotel and precedes another small hotel that will rise on a nearby brownfield site on Exterior Street.

4. The Bronx General Post Office

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558 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10451

One of the most anticipated developments underway in the Bronx may be the shuttered Bronx General Post Office. Developer Young Woo & Associates paid $19 million for the space, which they'll redevelop into office space, shops, restaurants, and a rooftop terrace. The Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the redevelopment—which includes a 7,500-square-foot addition—in early February.

5. Bronx Documentary Center

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614 Courtlandt Ave
Bronx, NY 10451

Welcome2theBronx says the Bronx Documentary Center has become the "epicenter" for Bronx photographers, photojournalists, journalists, and documentarians in the three years since its 2011 opening. The center, which is located in a formerly abandoned landmarked Victorian mansion, often hosts programs that explore the implications of gentrification in the Bronx.

6. Bronx Commons

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The Bronx Commons is an arts-based mixed-use development set to break ground this year. When complete, it will bring 277 affordable rental apartments for low-income residents with a select amount set aside for artists, live/work spaces for elder musicians, the Bronx Music Heritage Center, retail space, a rooftop farm, and green, performance, and exhibition space to Melrose Commons. WHEDco and Blue Sea Development Company won a 2009 RFP for the development. It will be designed by Rogers Marvel Architects.

7. Randall's Island Connector

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East 132nd Street & Willow Avenue
Bronx, NY 10454

The Randall's Island Connector, which will debut in the summer, will allow borough residents to traverse the pass between the Bronx and Randall's Island by foot for the first time ever. This is significant because it majorly amps up the borough's access to green space. Previously, the island was only accessible from the Bronx by car. Thanks, Robert Moses. [Photo: W2tB]

8. Special Harlem River Waterfront District

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East 138th Street & Exterior Street
Bronx, NY 10451

All eyes turned to the Bronx when Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced that he wanted to develop the equivalent of a Brooklyn Bridge Park along the Harlem River. Although New Yankee Stadium already brought some changes to the area, the proposed waterfront park could be accompanied by 4,000 apartments—both market rate and affordable—1.5 million square feet of commercial space, and 500,000 square feet of community facility space. To date, a few feasibility studies have been issued by pro-redevelopment parties but whether or not it'll all actually happen? Who knows.

9. 101 Lincoln Avenue

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101 Lincoln Avenue
Bronx, NY 10454

In the wake of Diaz's announcement of a desired waterfront park, behemoth developer Chetrit Group went buckwild and bought a 1.5 acre swath of land in Port Morris where they plan to erect up to six—count 'em, six—residential towers averaging 25-stories in height. No plans have been filed with the city yet, but Welcome2theBronx speculates that the developer is selling Chicago's Sears Tower for $1.3 billion to bring more money to the waterfront area.

10. Mott Haven-Port Morris Waterfront

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Saint Anns Avenue & East 132nd Street
Bronx, NY 10454

Another waterfront redevelopment plan that's being floated is along the borough's southernmost tip. Unlike the Special Harlem River Waterfront Plan a bit to the north, this proposal is community designed and is being vetted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as a priority plan. The proposal calls for open space and waterfront resiliency measures.

11. La Central

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East 149th Street & Bergen Avenue
Bronx, NY 10455

This planned Melrose mega development will bring almost 1,000 apartments spread across five buildings to the borough. The development's plan includes green and solar-paneled rooftops, a rooftop farm, a 40,000-square-foot YMCA, and a dedicated music studio. At the northernmost site in the development that stretches between 151st and 154th streets will be a 25-story tower topped by a dedicated astronomy lab. FXFOWLE is the project's lead architect.

12. Bronx Borough Courthouse

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East 161st Street & Brook Avenue
Bronx, NY 10451

The defunct and landmarked Bronx Borough Courthouse has been undergoing some major changes in the last few years. Currently, the building is being renovated ahead of an art show exhibition by No Longer Empty that will occupy the space for three months. Major changes include building out floors in high-ceilinged spaces, new elevators and windows, and an exterior renovation. Although the only major plan for the building in the future is the aforementioned art exhibit, the Beaux-Arts building's status as a landmark ensures that it'll probably get fixed up sooner or later. [Photo: Wikipedia]

13. Fresh Direct

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Saint Anns Avenue & East 132nd Street
Bronx, NY 10454

Online grocer Fresh Direct broke ground on its 500,000-square-foot facility in late December. The project is protested by locals who believe the company's new facility and truck traffic will compromise the already sub-standard air conditions in the Bronx's infamous "Asthma Alley," but the project will bring 3,000 jobs to the area.

14. The Bronx Brewery

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856 East 136th Street
Bronx, NY 10454
(718) 514-9000
Visit Website

What better way to bring attention to a place than to stick a brewery in it? The Bronx Brewery opened its doors in Port Morris in mid-2014. "Tours are going to be a huge and integral part of it, bringing people into the community, into Port Morris, into the South Bronx," one of the brewery's cofounders told NYDN.

15. 1183 Franklin Avenue

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1183 Franklin Avenue
Bronx, NY 10456

The St. Augustine Apartments will reach up to 12 stories and have 112 affordably-priced apartments. The development rises in the wake of a batch of Roman Catholic Church parish closings on the site of a former parochial school. Magnusson Architecture and Planning is designing the project. [Rendering via NYY]

16. Kingsbridge Armory

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29 West Kingsbridge Road
Bronx, NY 10468

We'd be remiss not to mention the redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory, which has been in the cards for a long time. Related proposed to convert the space into a massive shopping center but was voted down by the LPC. Now, it looks like the space will be converted into the world's largest indoor ice rink. The plan for the landmarked building's redevelopment comes from former NHL player Mark Messier and Olympic figure skater Sarah Hughes, who want to bring educational programs to the facility. The City Council approved the mega project in December, and the city and Kingsbridge National Ice Center inked a 99-year lease for the space in October.

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1. Via Verde

704 Brook Avenue, Bronx, NY 10455

This eco-friendly mixed-income rental and co-op development in the Bronx debuted in 2012 and, according to Welcome2theBronx, "transformed perception of what affordable housing can be." The building has luxe amenities like a gym, terraced rooftops with vegetable gardens, and harnesses solar power.

704 Brook Avenue
Bronx, NY 10455

2. Opera House Hotel

436 East 149th Street, New York, NY 10455

The hotel in the former Bronx opera house is the first developed by Empire Hotel Group, of Belvedere and Lucerne fame, outside of Manhattan. The hotel will have been in operation for two years as of August, and has been pulling crowds for its proximity to Manhattan, especially Museum Mile, and its reasonable rates. A quick look at its reservation site says that rooms fluctuate around the $150/night mark.

436 East 149th Street
New York, NY 10455

3. The Umbrella Hotel

681 Elton Avenue, Bronx, NY 10455

Another boutique hotel in Melrose, the Umbrella, will open up imminently. The seven-story, 56-room building will be the neighborhood's second boutique hotel and precedes another small hotel that will rise on a nearby brownfield site on Exterior Street.

681 Elton Avenue
Bronx, NY 10455

4. The Bronx General Post Office

558 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451

One of the most anticipated developments underway in the Bronx may be the shuttered Bronx General Post Office. Developer Young Woo & Associates paid $19 million for the space, which they'll redevelop into office space, shops, restaurants, and a rooftop terrace. The Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the redevelopment—which includes a 7,500-square-foot addition—in early February.

558 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10451

5. Bronx Documentary Center

614 Courtlandt Ave, Bronx, NY 10451

Welcome2theBronx says the Bronx Documentary Center has become the "epicenter" for Bronx photographers, photojournalists, journalists, and documentarians in the three years since its 2011 opening. The center, which is located in a formerly abandoned landmarked Victorian mansion, often hosts programs that explore the implications of gentrification in the Bronx.

614 Courtlandt Ave
Bronx, NY 10451

6. Bronx Commons

Elton Avenue and East 162nd Street Bronx, NY

The Bronx Commons is an arts-based mixed-use development set to break ground this year. When complete, it will bring 277 affordable rental apartments for low-income residents with a select amount set aside for artists, live/work spaces for elder musicians, the Bronx Music Heritage Center, retail space, a rooftop farm, and green, performance, and exhibition space to Melrose Commons. WHEDco and Blue Sea Development Company won a 2009 RFP for the development. It will be designed by Rogers Marvel Architects.

7. Randall's Island Connector

East 132nd Street & Willow Avenue, Bronx, NY 10454

The Randall's Island Connector, which will debut in the summer, will allow borough residents to traverse the pass between the Bronx and Randall's Island by foot for the first time ever. This is significant because it majorly amps up the borough's access to green space. Previously, the island was only accessible from the Bronx by car. Thanks, Robert Moses. [Photo: W2tB]

East 132nd Street & Willow Avenue
Bronx, NY 10454

8. Special Harlem River Waterfront District

East 138th Street & Exterior Street, Bronx, NY 10451

All eyes turned to the Bronx when Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced that he wanted to develop the equivalent of a Brooklyn Bridge Park along the Harlem River. Although New Yankee Stadium already brought some changes to the area, the proposed waterfront park could be accompanied by 4,000 apartments—both market rate and affordable—1.5 million square feet of commercial space, and 500,000 square feet of community facility space. To date, a few feasibility studies have been issued by pro-redevelopment parties but whether or not it'll all actually happen? Who knows.

East 138th Street & Exterior Street
Bronx, NY 10451

9. 101 Lincoln Avenue

101 Lincoln Avenue, Bronx, NY 10454

In the wake of Diaz's announcement of a desired waterfront park, behemoth developer Chetrit Group went buckwild and bought a 1.5 acre swath of land in Port Morris where they plan to erect up to six—count 'em, six—residential towers averaging 25-stories in height. No plans have been filed with the city yet, but Welcome2theBronx speculates that the developer is selling Chicago's Sears Tower for $1.3 billion to bring more money to the waterfront area.

101 Lincoln Avenue
Bronx, NY 10454

10. Mott Haven-Port Morris Waterfront

Saint Anns Avenue & East 132nd Street, Bronx, NY 10454

Another waterfront redevelopment plan that's being floated is along the borough's southernmost tip. Unlike the Special Harlem River Waterfront Plan a bit to the north, this proposal is community designed and is being vetted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as a priority plan. The proposal calls for open space and waterfront resiliency measures.

Saint Anns Avenue & East 132nd Street
Bronx, NY 10454

11. La Central

East 149th Street & Bergen Avenue, Bronx, NY 10455

This planned Melrose mega development will bring almost 1,000 apartments spread across five buildings to the borough. The development's plan includes green and solar-paneled rooftops, a rooftop farm, a 40,000-square-foot YMCA, and a dedicated music studio. At the northernmost site in the development that stretches between 151st and 154th streets will be a 25-story tower topped by a dedicated astronomy lab. FXFOWLE is the project's lead architect.

East 149th Street & Bergen Avenue
Bronx, NY 10455

12. Bronx Borough Courthouse

East 161st Street & Brook Avenue, Bronx, NY 10451

The defunct and landmarked Bronx Borough Courthouse has been undergoing some major changes in the last few years. Currently, the building is being renovated ahead of an art show exhibition by No Longer Empty that will occupy the space for three months. Major changes include building out floors in high-ceilinged spaces, new elevators and windows, and an exterior renovation. Although the only major plan for the building in the future is the aforementioned art exhibit, the Beaux-Arts building's status as a landmark ensures that it'll probably get fixed up sooner or later. [Photo: Wikipedia]

East 161st Street & Brook Avenue
Bronx, NY 10451

13. Fresh Direct

Saint Anns Avenue & East 132nd Street, Bronx, NY 10454

Online grocer Fresh Direct broke ground on its 500,000-square-foot facility in late December. The project is protested by locals who believe the company's new facility and truck traffic will compromise the already sub-standard air conditions in the Bronx's infamous "Asthma Alley," but the project will bring 3,000 jobs to the area.

Saint Anns Avenue & East 132nd Street
Bronx, NY 10454

14. The Bronx Brewery

856 East 136th Street, Bronx, NY 10454

What better way to bring attention to a place than to stick a brewery in it? The Bronx Brewery opened its doors in Port Morris in mid-2014. "Tours are going to be a huge and integral part of it, bringing people into the community, into Port Morris, into the South Bronx," one of the brewery's cofounders told NYDN.

856 East 136th Street
Bronx, NY 10454

15. 1183 Franklin Avenue

1183 Franklin Avenue, Bronx, NY 10456

The St. Augustine Apartments will reach up to 12 stories and have 112 affordably-priced apartments. The development rises in the wake of a batch of Roman Catholic Church parish closings on the site of a former parochial school. Magnusson Architecture and Planning is designing the project. [Rendering via NYY]

1183 Franklin Avenue
Bronx, NY 10456

16. Kingsbridge Armory

29 West Kingsbridge Road, Bronx, NY 10468

We'd be remiss not to mention the redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory, which has been in the cards for a long time. Related proposed to convert the space into a massive shopping center but was voted down by the LPC. Now, it looks like the space will be converted into the world's largest indoor ice rink. The plan for the landmarked building's redevelopment comes from former NHL player Mark Messier and Olympic figure skater Sarah Hughes, who want to bring educational programs to the facility. The City Council approved the mega project in December, and the city and Kingsbridge National Ice Center inked a 99-year lease for the space in October.

29 West Kingsbridge Road
Bronx, NY 10468