The Real Deal New York

Billboard dubs section of Bronx the “Piano District”

The name change coincides with luxury towers planned for Mott Haven

October 29, 2015 10:08AM

A billboard in the South Bronx (credit: Instagram/griffhoff13)

It’s billboard official: A section of the South Bronx is now the artsy, fashionable, and posh “Piano District.”

A new billboard near the Third Avenue Bridge — bearing the logos and names of developers the Chetrit Group and Somerset Properties — introduces the Piano District to New York, a proposed name change for a section of Mott Haven where luxury towers will soon be sprouting.

Behind the story:

Chetrit Group
Somerset Partners

The developers plan at least two residential towers on two sites they purchased for $58 million in the last year, at 2401 Third Avenue and 101 Lincoln Avenue.

The nickname refers to the area’s piano-making history. The neighborhood was home to several piano factories in the 19th century. But some residents have complained that the name change is a herald of gentrification in the neighborhood, according to DNAinfo.

“It’s proclaiming some fears that people have [about] the community being changed to something that may lead to displacement, or a difference between one side of the neighborhood and the other because of luxury housing being built,” Mychal Johnson, an environmental advocate for the Bronx, told the website.

Somerset’s Keith Rubenstein told The Real Deal that the name describes an area of Mott Haven from Willis Avenue to Third Avenue and from the East River to 138th Street. He said the name isn’t meant to replace Mott Haven. [DNAinfo] — Kathryn Brenzel