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September 18, 2018
by Adam Roberts
By Gryffindor [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons
By Gryffindor [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons

The past few decades saw an enormous amount of construction in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Nevertheless, the Bronx lagged behind the other boroughs, with the construction industry paying more attention to neighborhoods like Long Island City and Williamsburg than Mott Haven or Melrose.

This is no longer the case. In the past few years, the Bronx has seen a development boom, particularly in the South Bronx. In late March, the NYC City Council approved the rezoning of Jerome Avenue, which is expected to generate over 4,000 units of new housing. Within just a few weeks, developers began purchasing lots, with many planning to construct affordable housing due to the comparatively lower costs of building in the Bronx than other boroughs.

This is not to say the development of the South Bronx is without controversy. Fears of gentrification have arisen, as have concerns that the construction industry is not sensitive to existing communities. Infamously, in 2015 developers threw a “Bronx is burning” party as part of an attempt to rebrand Mott Haven as the “Piano District.”

While the South Bronx has received most of the attention from the construction industry, the potential of four new Metro-North stations in the East Bronx has opened that part of the borough to development as well. Meanwhile, the expansion of ferry service to Soundview has further increased interest in the East Bronx.

One of the biggest proponents of new development in the Bronx has been Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr, who has been a leader in advocating for increased housing and transportation options for Bronx residents. This Thursday, September 20, at 8:30 am, the Borough President will be speaking at the Center for Architecture about development opportunities in the borough. Those interested can register here. It will be a great opportunity to hear how elected officials are working to transform the borough.

Pulse Points:

  • AIANY’s advocacy for sustainable design, particularly in regards to the future of 270 Park Avenue, received considerable coverage earlier this month. You may read about AIANY President Guy Geier’s thoughts on the state of sustainable design here.
  • On Tuesday, September 25, at 8:30 am at the Center for Architecture, a breakfast panel will present and discuss findings and outcomes of the three-year, official city-to-city collaboration between New York City and Copenhagen on heavy rainfall management and climate adaptation. You may register here.

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