In case you haven’t been following the saga of the “Piano District” attempt to rebrand an existing neighborhood for the benefit of developers, Keith Rubenstein of Somerset Partners has just snatched up yet another Port Morris property this time for $7.5 million to create a food hall much like Chelsea Market.
“Bruckner Market”, as Rubenstein is calling it according to The Real Deal, “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.”
This isn’t the first venture in Port Morris for Rubenstein besides the purchase of several parcels of land for 25 story market-rate towers along the waterfront. Rubenstein has been steadily snatching up commercial spaces and creating his own vision of what the neighborhood should look and feel like by bringing mostly outside businesses into The Bronx.
With Bruckner Market, Rubenstein has an opportunity to make amends with the community if he focuses on supporting the many local Bronx entrepreneurs that are venturing in the food service industry from cafes to bakeries and restaurants.
As he told The Real Deal if he wants affordable prices for the existing community, does this include the thousands of residents who live in New York City public housing developments at NYCHA just a few blocks away? Does this mean affordable to the 64.1% of residents in Community Board 1 that receive some form of pubic assistance? Will this mean much-needed QUALITY jobs for local residents?
Or will this be for just the select who live within just a few block radius and for future, potential tenants?
One can only hope that Keith Rubenstein does the right thing and partner with local community entrepreneurs to truly make a positive impact in helping lift up our residents rather than just installing businesses that will ultimately lead to displacement.