$350M Secured for South Bronx Development With 542 Affordable Units

The project is part of a Bronx residential building boom and Mayor De Blasio's plan to add 300,000 affordable units by 2026.
Bronx Point apartment building. Image courtesy of S9 Architecture

A public-private partnership that will build 542 units of affordable housing in the South Bronx has secured $349 million in financing to begin the long-awaited Bronx Point project.

L+M Development Partners, Type A Projects, BronxWorks and the City of New York will construct the units in the first phase of Bronx Point, a 530,000-square-foot mixed-use development. Construction on the 22-story apartment building and other elements of the project is expected to begin within the next few weeks and be completed by late 2023.

In addition to housing, Bronx Point will include more than 56,000 square feet of educational and community space and more than 12,000 square feet of retail space. The project’s second phase is slated to include additional housing units for an overall total of 1,045 apartments and additional retail and community space. The Prusik Group, L+M’s partner on the $1.3 billion Essex Crossing mixed-use development on the Lower East Side of Manhattan will serve as the project’s retail development advisor.

Bronx Point is located on city-owned land along the Harlem River waterfront in the Lower Concourse neighborhood. The first phase is being financed through a combination of public and private capital, including financing from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the New York City Housing Development Corp., Empire State Development, Wells Fargo and additional private funding.

The overall funding includes $325 million for the building along with $25.5 million for the waterfront esplanade’s construction from the New York City Economic Development Corp. The Wall Street Journal reported some of the financing comes from state grants, equity from the developers and federal tax credits and Brownfield tax-credit equity from Wells Fargo.

Part of the Plan

Bronx Point is a key component of a $194 million capital investment strategy for the Lower Concourse neighborhood announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration in 2015 and led by the NYCEDC. In 2016, NYCEDC and HPD sought proposal requests for the site and selected the L+M/Type A/BronxWorks partnership in 2017 once the site was rezoned.

The apartments will be available for families earning incomes ranging from 30 percent to 120 percent of area median income, along with apartments for the formerly homeless. Apartments will include 135 studios, 192 one-bedrooms, 122 two- bedrooms and 93 three-bedrooms. Tenant amenities will feature an outdoor terrace for residents, on-site laundry, a children’s room, community lounge, bike storage room, fitness center and front-desk security.

S9 Architecture led the design of the apartment building and the open space was designed by Marvel Architects in collaboration with Abel Bainnson Butz.

Open Space, Cultural Offerings

The Universal Hip Hop Museum. Image courtesy of S9 Architecture

In addition to the permanently affordable housing, the project will have nearly 3 acres of public open space and cultural and community-focused programming. The cultural centerpiece of Bronx Point will be a permanent home for the Universal Hip-Hop Museum to showcase exhibits, events and performances in the New York City borough credited as the birthplace of hip hop.

A grand staircase will lead from the apartment building down to the waterfront, where an esplanade along the Harlem River will include a landscaped public walkway, seating areas and other amenities. Open space across from the Bronx Terminal Market will feature a playground and landscaped area adjacent to the existing Mill Pond Park and Bronx Children’s Museum to the north. Also designed as a community and civic hub, the project will provide an early childhood space run by BronxWorks and outdoor science programming run by the Billion Oyster Project.

Bronx Development Surge

The de Blasio administration continues moving forward on its Housing New York Plan, which had an initial goal to complete 200,000 affordable homes. It is ahead of schedule and expected to be completed by 2022. The expanded goal within Housing New York 2.0 calls for a total of 300,000 units of affordable housing by 2026.

Developments in the Bronx are playing a big role in meeting those goals. The Peninsula is a $300 million, five-building mixed-use development that will eventually have 740 units of affordable housing on the site of a former juvenile detention facility in the Hunts Point section. The first $125.5 million phase of the public-private project was building 183 units for low-income and very low-income New Yorkers.

Hudson Cos., BRP Cos., Kretchmer Cos., ELH-TKC LLC, Comunilife and Breaking Ground are developing the first residential units of La Central, a large-scale, mixed-use housing development in the Melrose section of the Bronx that will eventually have close to 1,000 mixed-income apartments.

In one of the largest private investments in the borough’s history, Brookfield Properties is building a $950 million mega-project that spans more than 4 acres in the South Bronx’s Mott Haven neighborhood. The mixed-use development known as Bankside will have more than 1,350 apartments in seven towers along the Harlem River. This project will also have a public waterfront esplanade.