Commercial Real Estate: The South Bronx’s accelerated revitalization – by Justin Fitzsimmons May 1, 2018

NYREJ | May 1, 2018

By Justin Fitzsimmons

The Bronx has been getting lots of attention, and with good reason. In recent years, the borough has seen a major surge in real estate development and investment, and pricing has also climbed significantly. This has been particularly pronounced in South Bronx areas, whose proximity to Manhattan made them prime candidates for revitalization. While we certainly anticipated the South Bronx’s ascendance—we even devoted a market report to the topic in 2016—there are some changes we’re seeing in the Bronx that nobody could have expected.

What is, perhaps, most unique is the pace at which the neighborhood has transformed. In most cases, neighborhoods evolve in a few stages. After being identified by developers as an area ripe for improvement, the neighborhood will start to see residential construction. Only once new residents have begun moving in will you to see the retail landscape change, with the addition of shopping and dining options targeted at new residents.

In the South Bronx, everything happened very differently and  quickly. Even as new residential developments broke ground, retail establishments were popping up, including coffee shops and restaurants that quickly gave these neighborhoods a more established feel. In short order, there were also plans filed to reconfigure industrial properties into vibrant, creative workspaces—several of which are already filling up with growing businesses.

Looking back at the transformation of areas like Williamsburg, it’s hard not to think about how many years it took, and how the process was so much more gradual than what we’re seeing in the South Bronx.

Is the Bronx’s revitalization noteworthy? No doubt. But perhaps even more intriguing than the way it has changed is the breakneck speed at which those changes have occurred.


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