Creative workspace planned for Port Morris building

Creative workspace planned for Port Morris building
Madison Realty Capital

As the south Bronx continues its slow but steady recovery from urban decay to a hip, revitalized destination for the creative working class, developers are swooping in to build attractive workspace.

One such project is Union Crossing at 825 E. 141st Street, a partnership between Madison Realty Capital, The Altmark Group, The Bluestone Group and Galil Management.

Partner firms are bringing all-new infrastructure into the former factory building.

That includes replacing all the windows and elevators and repairing the façade, explained Madison Realty Capital director, Design & Development Katie Scallon.

“We’ll be wrapping that up next year and we’ll have about 275,000 square feet available for lease as commercial space,” Scallon said.

The 235,584-square-foot factory building was purchased in 2016 for $44 million from its longtime owner, the New Jersey-based coupling and valve manufacturer National Equipment Corporation.

The building is eight stories tall. The first floor will have retail space, while the upper floors will have a mix of office and studio space.

“We’d love to have retail on the first floor to serve tenants and also people living and working in the neighborhood,” Scallon said.

The upper floors will be leased by office tenants, or some kind of creative or light industrial artist space, she added.

“We are seeing a lot of interest from TAMI (technology, advertising, media and information), or creative office type tenants,” she said.

The building is also well situated for commuters.

Located just off the Bruckner Expressway, it is close to the Cypress Avenue IRT 6 train stop, located just blocks away.

The neighborhoods of Port Morris and Hunts Point have been the scene of several high-end development projects, including luxury waterfront housing and trendy restaurants catering to an affluent demographic, which has also led to fear of Brooklyn-esque gentrification.

The new Fresh Direct headquarters will be completed next year and Silver Cup Studios just recently opened a new film studio in the area.

Third Avenue Business Improvement District director Michael Brady said Union Crossing was indicative of the types of projects he recommended as part of the master plan of the Bronx waterfront.

“These are the types of developments that we recommended in this area because it would be a mixed-use center of commercial activity that offered flexible office space and studio spaces and ground retail amenities that would better serve the area,” he said.

Brady said the Altmark Group has a good reputation in the area, since it has been doing projects in the neighborhood for decades.

He said he was also pleased Altmark hired JRT Realty to handle tenant recruitment.

“That’s a certified women-owned business,” Brady said. “We often talk about how do we empower our neighborhoods and I’m a big fan of putting our money where our mouth is.”

Brady said recent projections predict an uptick in food and technology businesses, which could become anchor tenants along with the creative types the office space is geared toward.

“There are so many really amazing and talented artists in the Port Morris area, and allowing them to have an outlet that can act as studio space is vitally important to our community fabric and our neighborhood essence,” Brady said.

Reach Reporter Arthur Cusano at (718) 742–4584. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @arthurcusano.