Construction has begun on a new 12-story, 91-unit building in Mott Haven.
The $22 million project, which will go up at 329 E, 132nd Street, will be constructed by JCAL development and the Altmark Group.
Joshua Weissman, president of JCAL, said the company is very “bullish on the area” and added the company “believes in the south Bronx.”
Weissman said the public transportation in the area is great and praised the neighborhood’s proximity to Manhattan.
He added the architecture of buildings in the neighborhood make it feel like “old school New York City.”
The project is being funded by First Niagra Bank.
Tracy Dembicer, first vice president for First Niagra’s commercial real estate group, said the bank was excited to join Mott Haven’s “ongoing revitalization.”
In addition, she said there has been growing interest in the redevelopment of the area.
Developers have been eager to construct more middle-class to high-end residential options in the Bronx because there is a lot of demand to live in NYC.
Weissman mentioned that JCAL has constructed other properties in Mott Haven.
Keith Rubenstein, owner of Somerset Partners, is currently working on high end residential towers in Mott Haven at 2401 Third Avenue and 101 Lincoln Avenue in addition to a new food market at 9 Bruckner Boulevard.
As more high-end developments are built in the south Bronx,the gentrification issue will continue to be debated.
Supporters of more high-end development praise the safer environments in the Bronx and suggest there will be more jobs and money thrown into the community.
Distracters fear the average rent will price some native new Yorkers out of the neighborhood.
An NYU Furman Center study, released earlier this spring, has been used multiple times this year to suggest areas like Mott Haven in Community Board 1 are gentrifying.
According to the study, median rent in the Bronx rose by 17 percent from 1990 to 2014.
In the Mott Haven/Melrose area and the Longwood/Hunts Point area, rent increased by 28 percent.
In the past six years, the median rent in Mott Haven is $782, jumping from $715 during 2005-2009.
The study also showed unemployment in the Mott Haven/Melrose area dropped from 19.1 percent in 2010 to 11 percent in 2014.
Rubenstein said he and his company are trying to work with the community and provide jobs in the south Bronx.
“We believe in embracing the history of the south Bronx and respecting the heritage of its residents and community, while also creating much-needed opportunities for local families and businesses,” he said.
“As part of that commitment, we want to help achieve longstanding community goals by providing good local jobs and new public open space along the waterfront. Our team is proud to have met and worked with local residents and advocacy groups and we will continue building that positive dialogue every step of the way,” he added.