Harlem River revitalization: City officials unveil 542-unit affordable housing complex at future home of hip-hop museum in South Bronx

Bronx Point includes 542 units in a mixed-use development ranging from 15 to 22 stories.
Photo Sylvester Zawadzki

Elected leaders and city officials cut the ribbon last month on a 542-unit affordable housing complex located by the Harlem River that includes a waterfront esplanade and the future home of the Universal Hip Hop Museum.

The development, located at 575 Exterior St. in the Concourse section of the South Bronx, transforms the once-blighted site, replacing a vacant city-owned property with a 22-story affordable housing complex and a 3-acre waterfront park.

The project, known as Bronx Point, also includes retail space, as well as a location for community-based organization BronxWorks, which will oversee an early childhood program. The opening of the development represents the completion of phase one of the Bronx Point development, with the second phase anticipated to include additional housing units along with retail and community space.

The Oct. 19 ribbon cutting was attended by the project’s co-developers L+M Development Partners and Type A Projects, as well as BronxWorks and members of the Universal Hip Hop museum, along with Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, other elected officials, Community Board 4 leaders and hip-hop aficionados.

Gibson described the opening as a “huge win for our borough” and said that it represents the growth of the area and the changing image of the Bronx.

“Bronx Point is years in the making and will soon be home to hundreds of new residents who will get to enjoy a brand-new waterfront public park and esplanade as well as the soon-to-be-open Universal Hip Hop Museum that will highlight 50 years of music and culture that has impacted millions of people from around the world,” she said.

The buildout of the Universal Hip Hop Museum continues with an estimated completed date of 2025. Photo Sylvester Zawadzki

A big feature of the development is its connection to the Universal Hip Hop Museum, which will chronicle the history and impact of hip-hop, both as a music genre and as a culture. The Bronx is considered the birthplace of hip-hop and the genre is celebrating its 50-year anniversary this year.

“The Hip Hop Museum is proud to be a part of the cultural growth and economic development that Bronx Point represents for the entire borough,” said Rocky Bucano, founder and executive director of the museum.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the museum took place in May 2021, and drew local hip-hop legends Nas, LL Cool J and Fat Joe, among others. The project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2025.

Bronx residents, among others, have been clamoring to get a unit in the affordable development that were mostly available through a lottery for low-to-middle income families and the formerly homeless. More than 63,000 New Yorkers applied for the 542 units, city officials said, in a complex that includes 135 studios, 192 one-bedrooms, 122 two-bedrooms and 93 three-bedrooms.

The development also features an outdoor terrace for residents, on-site laundry, a children’s room, a community lounge, a bike storage room, an on-site fitness center and around-the-clock front desk security.

The public esplanade/park includes a playground, a landscaped public walkway with seating areas, lawns, waterfront lookouts, an extended BBQ area, fitness zones for adults and publicly accessible bathrooms.

Lisa Gomez, chief executive officer for L+M Development Partners, said that Bronx Point is a “complete transformation of a long vacant city-owned property into a mixed-use development that creates new space for important community institution, an amazing new public waterfront park, and, mostly importantly — new homes for hundreds of families who need them.”

Gomez added that the first Bronx Point residents will move into their apartments in the coming weeks.

Local state Assemblymember Latoya Joyner said the development was also a boost to the area.

“This multi-use development will serve my community in so many important ways — whether it is creating green space, permanent affordable housing or the soon-to-be opening of the Hip Hop Museum,” she said.

“Bronx Point is a long-overdue investment in the South Bronx and it’s great to see all the work we have put in finally come to fruition.”

Reach Steven Goodstein at sgoodstein@schnepsmedia.com or (718) 260-8326. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes