2,000 Apartments Coming to South Bronx Waterfront as Developer Buys Two Lots for $59 Million

Two weeks ago the Lightstone Group signed a 49 year landlease for 475 Exterior Street at 149th Street for $30.5 million.

Now the same developer has snatched two lots directly south of that property at 399 and 355 Exterior Street for $59 million in an all cash transaction snatching up what was billed in December as the, “…biggest development site in NYC.

According to the Commercial Observer, Lightstone has plans to construct 2,000 residential units with 70% (or 1,400) as market-rate with the remaining 600 units billed as “affordable”.

The developer also plans on constructing retail along with parking as part of the development and says that construction should begin some time next year in 2020 and completed by 2022.

This brings the total number of units planned or under construction along the South Bronx waterfront to just under 5,000 with the majority of them being constructed as market-rate.

Bronx Point will rise at the foot of the 145th Street Bridge at 149th Street sandwiched between the Major Deegan Expressway and the Harlem River.

North of the site at the stolen parkland that is known as Pier 5 which was supposed to be part of Mill Pond Park’s expansion will now be home to over 1,000 units of affordable housing and the home of the Universal Hip Hop Museum, the country’s first such brick and mortar space dedicated to the genre which started in The Bronx.

A few blocks away on 135th Street directly facing the Major Deegan Expressway, construction is underway on two 25-story towers which will have 465 apartments once complete.

Renderings for 198 and 200 E 135th which are already rising in Port Morris.

Around the corner from that development will soon rise Brookfield’s 1,300 unit market-rate luxury development across 7 towers totaling 1.3 million square feet.

The mega developer plans on breaking ground for both sites this year and anticipating completion by 2021.

Brookfield purchased the development from controversial developers Somerset Partners headed by Keith Rubenstien and the Chetrit Group for $165 million last year in the most expensive sale in The Bronx’s history.

As you may recall, Somerset and Chetrit were behind the attempted rebranding of Port Morris as the Piano District as well as behind the tasteless Bronx is Burning party to promote the area.

Brookfield’s 1.3 million square foot, 1,300 unit development at the foot of the Third Avenue Bridge. Renderings are outdated as they are from when Somerset and Chetrit owned the the site and are revamping the designs.

These developers are taking a huge gamble in building so many luxury units in an area where folks aren’t quite flocking to rent in such developments.

The Clocktower’s expansion at the Crescendo, which is billed as luxury and renting units above $4k is still not fully occupied a full 18 months after they began marketing the development.

Despite all of that, however, there is no denying that the South Bronx is in full gentrification mode now.

Within 5 years our waterfront and skyline will be completely unrecognizable.

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.