Chelsea’s got one. So does the Meatpacking District. And now the South Bronx is getting a trendy new food hall, courtesy of developer Keith Rubenstein.
Rubenstein’s Somerset Partners closed Wednesday on the purchase of a 16,000-square-foot warehouse at 9 Bruckner Boulevard that he plans to convert into a Gansevoort Market-style food hall to be known as Bruckner Market, the developer told The Real Deal. The purchase price was $7.5 million.
Rubenstein, who is unequivocally bullish on the South Bronx, said he’d been eying the property for some time. The site is located across the street from the massive residential complex he is developing in partnership with the Chetrit Group. Plans for 9 Bruckner are still being hammered out, Rubenstein said, but he envisions a fresh food market, food kiosks, sit-down restaurants and possibly a beer garden.
“We have a great hospitality and restaurant concept that we want to do there,” he said. “It will provide great food and beverage options at affordable prices for the existing community and new community.”
Previously, the building housed a company that manufactured fire doors. Property records show the seller, Halman Enterprises, owned the site since 1997.
Built in the 1930s, the property can be expanded up to 30,000 square feet. Somerset plans to renovate the structure and add a penthouse with an outdoor beer garden and possibly a microbrewery. “It’s still early,” said Rubenstein, who aims to open Bruckner Market in the next 12 to 18 months.
Last year, Somerset and Chetrit shelled out $58 million for two sites on the Bronx waterfront – 2401 Third Avenue and 101 Lincoln.
They’re planning up to six 25-story residential towers on the site, and expect to break ground on the first tower, at 2401 Third, within 30 days, Rubenstein said. The site is not far from an office project at 2417 Third Avenue, which is being developed by Hornig Capital Partners and Savanna.
To complement the Somerset/Chetrit development, Rubenstein’s firm has backed food concepts in the immediate area including Filtered Coffee to 2430 Third Avenue, as well as an Italian restaurant, La Grata Pizoteca, slated for 136 Alexander Avenue. Somerset has put together a hospitality group and will own and operate all of the venues within Bruckner Market, Rubenstein said.
Along with Rubenstein and Chetrit, the Bronx has been a magnet for investors – food-hall concepts included.
At 558 Grand Concourse, Youngwoo & Associates is converting the Bronx General Post Office into a mixed-use building that will include a food court, in addition to retail and offices.
This week, renowned chef Massimo Bottura announced he’s working on a “dining hall” concept in the Bronx with actor Robert De Niro. On social media, Bottura said he wants to bring his Refettorio Ambrosiano concept – where meals featured leftover ingredients – to the area.
Rubenstein said he’s not aware of where Bottura and De Niro plan to open their dining hall. “But we’d be happy to provide a home for it,” he said.