The Real Deal New York

The Bronx is the new Queens

At least 1 million sf of resi, hotel development planned so far this year: MAP

May 29, 2015 08:30AM
By Claire Moses

Clockwise from left: The Bronx General Post Office, Youngwoo

Clockwise from left: The Bronx General Post Office, Young Woo, construction at 500 Exterior Street (photo via NY YIMBY), a rendering of FreshDirect’s new office at the Harlem River Yard, Joseph Chetrit and 101 Lincoln Avenue

For residents of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, coming across new construction projects in their neighborhoods is commonplace. But for the first time in recent history, the Bronx is getting its fair share of the action.

In the 1980s and the early 2000s, new developments “always fell short of the Bronx when the movement ran out of gas,” real estate appraiser Jonathan Miller told The Real Deal. “This go-around, that doesn’t seem to be the case.”

While Manhattan and Brooklyn are adding luxury housing, the Bronx offers something that core markets often lack: affordability.

“The Bronx is the new Queens,” Miller said. “You’re seeing some evidence of it, but we’re in the early stages.”

Land prices are still relatively low in the Bronx as well — less than $50 per buildable square foot in 2014 — but are expected to rise.

Miller Samuels' Jonathan Miller

Miller Samuels’ Jonathan Miller

The exact influx into the borough is hard to determine through sales data, Miller said, because the majority of Bronx residents — both new and old — don’t own their homes. About 68 percent of the market rents in the Bronx, making it the second highest rate of the five boroughs after Manhattan’s 75 percent.

Since the beginning of 2015, at least 15 new permit applications — totaling 1,221 units over more than 1 million square feet — were filed for new residential and hotel developments in the Bronx, according to TRD‘s analysis of Department of Buildings records.

Big Manhattan developers are increasingly being drawn to the borough. Youngwoo & Associates, for example, is planning to convert the Bronx General Post Office on the Grand Concourse into a mixed-use building with a food court, office space and retail.

The Chetrit Group and Somerset Partners paid $56 million for a waterfront assemblage early this year, with plans of building a massive residential development that could have up to six towers.

Here’s a look at some of the highlights.

2477 Third Avenue and 500 Exterior Street
Long Island-based Bharat Patel is developing a 84-key Comfort Inn at this location, which will be designed by architect Raymond Chan, as New York YIMBY reported. Nearby, Floral Park-based Harshad Patel is the developer behind a 69-room hotel at 500 Exterior Street.

From left: 101 Lincoln Avenue in the Bronx and Joseph Chetrit

From left: 101 Lincoln Avenue in the Bronx and Joseph Chetrit

2401 Third Avenue and 101 Lincoln Avenue
The Chetrit Group and Somerset Partners bought the two waterfront sites for a combined $58 million. They’re planning to build a massive residential complex along the waterfront that could span 1.2 million square feet.

156 Bruckner Boulevard
Forest Hills-based Osher Niyazov is developing a 98-key hotel at this Mott Haven location.

558 Grand Concourse in the Bronx (inset: Young Woo)

558 Grand Concourse in the Bronx (inset: Young Woo)

558 Grand Concourse
Youngwoo & Associates is looking to convert the Bronx General Post Office into a mixed-use building that will include a food court, retail and offices. The Landmarks and Preservation Commission approved Youngwoo’s plans in February.

110 East 149th Street/530 Exterior Street
A 157-unit affordable residential development is scheduled for this Mott Haven location. Ram Housing LLC is listed as the developer of the 13-story building and Dattner Architects is the architect of record. River Management earlier applied for a permit to build a 10-story, 152-key hotel on the same parcel, according to New York YIMBY.