MOTT HAVEN—For almost a decade after the Lower Concourse area of the South Bronx was rezoned back in 2009, not many developers rushed in to take advantage of the new zoning.
But in the past four years, there has been a flurry of construction, and now another set of plans have been for a new building at the foot of the Grand Concourse at 138th Street.
261 Grand Concourse, which is currently occupied by a two-story commercial building housing several contracting companies, will be demolished to give way to a 12-story residential building with 96 residences.
Once complete, the building will be 89,672 square feet and will have a host of amenities, including roof decks, balconies, and a fitness center, to name a few.
Currently, there is no indication of whether or not this will be “affordable” or just straight-up luxury. Still, given the trend in the immediate area, it will most likely be “affordable” housing but not for the majority of the local community, much like 276 Grand Concourse, which bills itself as affordable housing, yet studios in the luxury building are renting for $2,000 for residents making $65,143 a year.
In 2009, the Lower Concourse Area, roughly defined as everything south of 149th Street and west of Morris Avenue, was rezoned from mostly manufacturing to residential as many buildings were being underutilized, and the city was moving to help solve the housing crisis.
There was little to no activity for almost ten years, but in recent years, entire blocks have been demolished, as was the case at 149th Street and Exterior Street, where several residential buildings, a hotel, and an office building occupy what used to be an industrial block.
The same thing happened across the street from 261 Grand Concourse, where 276 Grand Concourse is almost complete. That site was once home to several automotive shops.
The area’s first new construction condominiums were built just two blocks over from 261 Grand Concourse, where two penthouse units shattered South Bronx records for the highest-selling condominiums ever in the area, reaching almost $1 million.
But now, things are different in Mott Haven as developers are in a construction frenzy with literally over 2,000 units under construction within the rezoned area alone, including the Harlem River waterfront development, Bankside, which is 1,500 units of luxury living going up and almost half complete as of this writing.
Although census tract level data has yet to be released for the 2020 Census of the area, one can already see the rapid changes in the neighborhood, and one can only imagine what the area will look like by the time the next census rolls out if we only look to the fate of other low-income neighborhoods across the city.