Occupancy of the luxury apartments at 2763 Morris Avenue in Bedford Park is projected to start Friday, September 1 or a little after, according to the real estate agent handling the leases.
Concern that the building’s marketing plan to attract high-end renters may falter has left some local leaders nervous about the property’s eventual fate, according to Community Board 7 chairwoman Adaline Walker-Santiago.
But leases are being signed, according to Douglas Elliman real estate agent Elina Golovko.
“There are people who are paying those prices,” Golovko said, adding that Elliman plans to issue a press release with figures when 70 to 80 percent of the apartments are leased.
One factor the community leaders pointed to was that studios were at times priced higher than 1- and 2-family apartments.
The reason rental rates fluctuate — with studios priced higher than 2-bedrooms — is that the 9th, 10th and 11th floor apartments have 360-degree views and are part of a ‘signature collection’ that makes them more expensive, according to Golovko.
For example, 1-bedroom apartment rentals vary from $1,755 and $1,985 to $2,540, depending on whether they’re on the lower or upper floors.
Square footage also varies among the 1-bedroom apartments.
The two-bedroom apartments are priced from $2,075 to $2,310 based on living area.
To address concerns about the building, CB 7 will schedule a Housing Committee meeting in September, according to Walker-Santiago.
“When they came to us last year, they told us it was going to be a senior housing development,” Walker-Santiago said. “Why didn’t it become affordable senior housing? We were not informed of the details. So we need to have that information brought to us in September when we start meeting.”
The land was purchased by Alex Berkovitch’s Universal Contracting in two parts — one lot, a demolished single-family detached home in 2008 for $1.55 million; and the other from a non-denominational Christian church in 2016 for $950,000.
“Initially this property was intended for affordable housing and senior housing,” said Councilman Fernando Cabrera. “However, after seeking approval for three years, the developer’s applications for these purposes were rejected by the City of New York.”
Then, through private financing, the project became market rate housing, Cabrera said
The church sold for less money because it was being replaced within the new building with nearly 9,000 square feet of space.
The ground floor and lower level will house the church, with room for a Sunday school, accessory offices, and a cafeteria, in addition to the church’s worship space.
Cabrera acknowledged that he is the pastor of the church, and as a councilman in the area, he was vetted about potential conflict of interest.
“There have been several ‘bait and switch’ occurrences of new market rate housing in the Bronx being converted to shelters and low income housing, taking neighborhood residents by surprise,” Cabrera said.
“This is an understandable concern,” Cabrera said. “I remain strongly committed to the preservation of existing affordable housing and development of new affordable housing properties to meet the needs of our community and have provided funding for District 14 affordable housing in the FY 2018 budget.”