Building complex project ‘Piano District’ to be built

The south Bronx is changing, and soon, it will be the location of the new Piano District.

The Piano District, an upcoming project which will be built in Mott Haven, will provide luxury living and world-class dining on the Harlem River’s waterfront for its future residents.

The planned two 25-story residential tower complex, which will also include fashion, art as well as ground-floor retail, will be built at two Mott Haven sites, 2401 Third Avenue and 101 Lincoln Avenue.

Both waterfront sites were purchased by the Chetrit Group and Somerset Partners for a combined $58 million in the past year. According to Somerset Partners, the project’s construction will begin sometime in 2016.

Amidst the new project to revamp the neighborhood, many residents of the area have expressed concern with the upcoming complex, stating that this is an example of gentrification in their neighborhood.

These concerns were recently expressed at a Community Action for Safe Apartments hearing, which took place at 851 Grand Concourse on Thursday, November 12.

However, one of the project’s leaders, Somerset’s founder Keith Rubenstein believes that, with time, local residents will understand the group’s commitment to the community and realize their goal of neighborhood preservation.

“We (Somerset) understand that new developments bring new questions,” said Rubenstein. “However, we’re confident that as the local community hears more about our vision and we hear more from the community, it will become clear that we are committed to preserving the neighborhood and respecting its history.”

“In the coming months, we’ll be talking about greater public access to the waterfront, good-paying jobs, environmental justice and other measures that people care about,” Rubenstein added.

The project’s name, ‘Piano District’, is drawn from the time when piano factories and manufacturers were prevalent in Mott Haven and Port Morris in the early 1900s, which was once known as ‘The Piano Capital of the United States’.

The Estey Piano & Organ Company, one of the biggest piano manufacturers of its time, located on Bruckner Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue, was established in 1886 and survived for nearly a century before it was shuttered in the 1970s. It is the oldest former piano factory in the Bronx.

Reach Reporter Steven Goodstein at (718) 260-4599. E-mail him at sgoodstein@cnglocal.com.

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