The Real Deal New York

The Bronx is turning: “Piano District” billboard defaced

Somerset, Chetrit Group ad touts "luxury waterfront living" in rebranded neighborhood

November 10, 2015 03:45PM

Piano District Billboard

Billboard advertising the “Piano District” in the South Bronx (credit: Welcome2TheBronx)

The Bronx isn’t having any of this “Piano District” business, apparently.

A billboard near the Third Avenue Bridge advertising “luxury waterfront living” and “world-class dining” in the rebranded South Bronx neighborhood has been defaced less than three weeks after going up.

The advertisement, now splashed with gold paint, bears the logo of developers Somerset Properties and the Chetrit Group; the firms partnered to purchase two Mott Haven sites for $58 million in the last year and are planning a sprawling residential complex on the properties. Thus far, the developers have filed plans for two towers holding a combined 1,200 units.

While the “Piano District” rebrand refers to the area’s piano-making history – the neighborhood was home to several piano factories in the 19th century – residents have criticized the name change as a harbinger of gentrification.

That criticism only intensified after Somerset and Chetrit threw an A-list warehouse party at the South Bronx development site that was attended by the likes of models Naomi Campbell, Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner and New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. [Welcome2TheBronx]Rey Mashayekhi