The new plans released for the Hutchinson Metro Center’s nearly three million square foot expansion proposal would more than double the property’s current footprint.
The 33-acre parcel was transferred by the Dormitory Authority of New York State to the Empire State Development as excess land when Bronx Psychiatric Hospital reduced the size of its campus from 73 to 40 acres.
Simone Development Companies purchased the property for $14,959,154.92 from the ESD.
During phase I of the development, a 133-room hotel, a bio tech research facility and a nursing school with housing are the key elements that will replace the moth-balled former Bronx Psychiatric Center buildings situated between the newly built Bronx Psychiatric Center campus and the currrent Hutch Metro Center structures.
The hotel is rumored to be a Hilton-branded facility, according to sources.
The Simone Development Companies proposal calls for demolition of the existing two-story Bronx Children’s Psychiatric Building while repurposing the existing 13- and six-story Thompson and Parker buildings respectively. The four surrounding little league ball fields would be consolidated into two new larger facilities along the Hutchinson River Parkway.
Another six buildings would be added to the property, including one building set aside for retail space by 2028. An additional 4,029 garage and field parking spots would be created to serve the site’s anticipated soaring number of daily visitors.
The plan was well received by those attending the information session at nearby Albert Einstein School of Medicine on Monday, September 16.
“This will bring together what the area needs,” said Bronx Chamber of Commerce president Lisa Sorin, who testified in favor of the major revamp at the meeting.
She explained that hundreds of jobs would be available in the medical and research field. The nursing college would provide housing for students and staff as a result of the expansion, she added.
Sorin detailed that the first phase of the project will be completed by 2023, to coincide with the anticipated opening of the Morris Park Metro North Station.
“The plan was to sync the two projects,” Sorin explained.
Sorin said the Chamber will meet with the NYC Department of City Planning as well as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to discuss the necessary infrastructure improvements that are required to make this development a boon to the Bronx.
“A major part of making this plan work will be new roads and easier access to the Hutchinson River Parkway to alleviate potential traffic problems,” she added, stating that it’s up to NYC and the state to keep up with the project and complete the current construction projects that surround the Hutch Metro Center.
“It’s up to these agencies to keep up with the rapid changes that the Bronx is going through, especially something like the Hutch Metro Center proposal,” she continued.
Another part of the project that appealed to residents is its proposal to add 3.9 acres of open, public community space.
Construction is anticipated to begin next summer.