The masterminds behind the failed “Piano District” rebranding of the South Bronx neighborhood of Port Morris are seeking a $500 million loan to finance the construction of their 7 building, 1,300 unit luxury market rate development on the waterfront at the foot of the Third Avenue Bridge. 
It will be interesting to see how banks will react to one of the largest ever financing for residential development in our borough especially in a police precinct which saw the only increase in murder in all of New York City—the 40th Precinct. 

The 7 buildings range 22 to 25 stories in height will begin construction next month regardless if they have the loan approved by then. 

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This is single handedly the biggest gamble in the entire Bronx in a largely untested market rate sector in the South Bronx which has largely been dominated by smaller scale market rate buildings like The Clocktower on Lincoln and Bruckner and JCAL’s three Alexander Avenue low-rise lofts. 

Are people going to flock to the neighborhood in gentrifying hoards as these speculative developers are hoping? 

Will they feel comfortable surrounded by NYCHA projects and the thousands of residents who live below the poverty line making this the poorest congressional district in the entire United States? 

Perhaps they will since already they’re creating their own community separated and divided from the rest of the area by the Deegan Expressway and the river. 

But at one point they will have to intersect whether on mass transit walking to the 6 train on 138th Street and Alexander Avenue where everyone’s forced to mingle whether they like it or not. 

Whatever the outcome, we’re already knee-deep in the gentrification process as residential rents continue to ride and overburden our residents, as commercial landlords, blinded by greed and the prospect of higher rents kick out long time mom and pop businesses waiting for the higher bidder,and as property values continue to rise well out of reach of many living in the community who have a chance at homeownership only to have their dreams crushed. 

No amount of gleaming towers will save our communities regardless of what we’re told that, “they’re good for us.”

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