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Borough President Diaz touts mega-bux Bronx projects underway

Diaz: Bronx on a building boom

Bronx Times

The Bronx is building—and building. And then building some more.

Developers are pouring money into the borough at historic levels, according to a report from Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

The BP has been touting his idea of the “new Bronx,” as a haven of economic development. And his office has the stats to back that up, including $5.768 billion in total development since Diaz took office and $894 million in financing closed on new buildings in 2013 alone.

$$$ and more $$$

The amount of money invested in Bronx building dipped a bit in 2013 from the year before, when it was over $1 billion because of boosts from the Bay Plaza Mall and a $350 million mental health facility near the Hutchinson Metro Center.

But a slew of shopping malls, housing complexes and expansions to schools and hospitals in the 2013 pipeline have Diaz excited.

“The ‘New Bronx’ is more than just rhetoric, it’s a movement,” Diaz said. “Our borough is seeing unprecedented new levels of development, with major new projects on the horizon and even bigger ideas ready to take flight.”

Housing takes lead

Most of the new building last year was residential, according to Diaz’s report. Housing rung in at 67% of all new development. Leading the way as far and away the year’s biggest housing project was the $75 million Compass Apartments from Signature Urban Properties, which broke ground in February on the first two apartment buildings of its 10-unit complex hard by the Sheridan Expressway in West Farms.

Other housing developments in the year’s top 10 biggest projects include the $50 Crossroads Plaza slated for the South Bronx, a $39.7 million complex from Omni Development on Morris Avenue in Melrose, a $42 million multifamily building on West Farms Avenue and a $25.2 million senior housing complex in the works for 6469 Broadway in Riverdale, according to the report.

$$ for public centers

Ringing in after residential construction kicked off in 2013 was institutional development —meaning renovation or new building of public institutions like hospitals and schools.

Over $171 million was invested in that area. Some highlights:

•Simone Development closed a $50 million deal on a Montefiore Outpatient Center in Riverdale.

•The city started building a $25 million P.S. 106 school on Olmstead Avenue in Parkchester and put over $27 million into an expansion of P.S. 56.

•A $10.5 million pavilion at the New York Botanical Garden.

Shopping mall boom

Commercial building last year wasn’t too shabby either, ringing in at $121 million boroughwide. Two massive shopping mall projects led the way: the $54 million Broadway Plaza development in Riverdale, and the $42 million Triangle Plaza mall that broke ground near the HUB in the South Bronx in September 2013.

The booming building has borough officials crowing.

“The Bronx will truly benefit from these developments generating much needed economic activity,” said Lenny Caro, president & CEO of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce.

Reach Reporter Ben Kochman at (718) 742–3394. E-mail him at bkochman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @benkochman.

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