No timeline has been set for construction of a hotel and affordable housing project in Belmont — which will see a 145-room hotel on 188th Street and Arthur Avenue and a 7-story, 56-unit residential building on 188th Street and Hughes Avenue — despite the proposal’s rezoning request receiving the green light from various city boards and officials.
According to city documents, construction is expected to be completed in a single phase, however an official completion date has not been confirmed.
Developer Harry Bajraktari of Bajraktari Management Corporation applied to rezone the proposed development area from residential to mixed residential and commercial, which was approved by Community Board 6 and New York City Planning Commission in January and April, respectively.
The planning board’s motion of approval was adopted by New York City Council in May, and it successfully made it past the Mayor’s Office last month.
“We don’t have any updates on construction or when that’s going to start for this project right now,” Gani Bajraktari, construction and energy manager of Bajraktari Management Corporation told the Bronx Times.
The site is currently home to low-density residential and commercial buildings and a funeral home, which will be demolished to pave the way for the project. According to city documents, neither of the residential units are currently rent stabilized, and the commercial tenants are being assisted in relocating.
The first building in the plans is the 13-story hotel on the corner of Arthur Avenue and E. 188th Street. The hotel would have 146 hotel rooms, outdoor amenity space and 128 accessory parking spaces. There will also be retail space on the ground floor.
In addition to an undetermined timeline for construction and completion, a hotel operator has not been contracted for the hotel site.
Additionally, approximately 156 total parking spaces would be added to 2450 Arthur Ave.
The second building, adjacent to the hotel is a 56-unit complex, with 17 units permanently affordable under Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) Workforce Option 4, which requires a building to set aside 30% of its units for affordable housing.
Rent pricing for the building could be between 70%-130% percent of the average median income, with studios ranging from $1,307 to $2,501 and up to three-bedroom apartments ranging from $1,923 to $3,697.
The building will also feature six studios, 24 one-bedroom apartments, 20 two-bedroom apartments and six three-bedroom apartments.
Developers and local business leaders have touted the hotel as a tourist attraction that will generate revenue for Bronx staples such as Little Italy, the New York Botanical Garden and would fill a need for “high-quality” Bronx hotel and lodging.
The development area is located near landmarks such as the Bronx Zoo, the Botanical Garden, Fordham University, St. Barnabas Hospital, Montefiore Medical Center and Arthur Avenue, the Bronx’s “Little Italy.”
“There’s a lack of quality of full-service hotels throughout the Bronx and extremely limited hotel options near the Belmont neighborhood,” said Aaron Bouska, vice president of the New York Botanical Garden, during the March 3 NYC Planning Commission meeting. “Arthur Avenue, however, is a strategic location for a hotel given its location at the heart of Little Italy … in proximity to the academic and cultural attractions that welcome people from around the corner and across the globe as one of these neighborhood institution.”
The project has recieved pushback from Belmont residents, who raised issues over transparency at the Community Board 6’s Jan. 6 ULURP public hearing.
Reach Robbie Sequeira at firstname.lastname@example.org or (718) 260-4599. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter @bronxtimes and Facebook @bxtimes.