Bronx real estate baron, Community Board 6 member and former 15th Council District candidate Radame Perez, has announced plans to build an 18-story mixed-use development at E. Tremont and Webster avenues.
“We want to bring Tremont Avenue back,” Perez said.
CB6 member Frank Franz has his doubts about the development.
“I find the plan interesting,” Franz said. “Webster Avenue is so dead. It would be good to see it picked up. But I don’t know…18-story buildings are expensive.”
Perez and his father, Jose Perez, president of Mastermind Management and landlord to 3.5 million square feet of real estate in the Bronx, Westchester and Manhattan, began to acquire properties at the corner of E. Tremont and Webster avenues in 2003. Mastermind will help its tenants relocate ahead of demolition and construction, Perez said. One of the properties is the former Bronx Savings Bank, built in 1936, he added.
The development, christened Tremont Renaissance, could include 112 apartments and three floors – 60,000 to 100,000 square feet – of commercial space, Perez said. But his plan is nowhere near complete, he added. Perez is in talks with Lucky Strike Lanes, the hip bowling alley of Midtown Manhattan fame, he said. He sees entertainment potential at the development and on Webster Avenue, where Luna Nightclub, the former JetSet Café, does well on weekends, Perez said.
Although the Tremont Renaissance will dwarf most of its neighbors on E. Tremont and Webster avenues, Mastermind won’t need special permission to build, Perez explained. There’s already a 17-story apartment building around the corner on Webster Avenue.
Perez plans to make the Tremont Renaissance “100 percent affordable.” If Mastermind is able to secure adequate funds from the city Housing Development Corporation, the development will offer one, two and three-bedroom apartments to households that earn up to 48 percent, 60 percent and 90 percent of the area median income (AMI). As of today, a two-bedroom apartment would sell to a 90 percent AMI household for $100,495, Perez said. Home ownership is a possibility, he added.
“For too long, the Bronx has exported successful families to Westchester County and New Jersey, even the Poconos,” Perez said. “There are a lot of low-income developments in the Bronx. We want [upward-bound families] to be able to stay in the neighborhood.”
Mastermind plans to set aside two basement levels and the development’s fourth floor for more than 100 parking spots. Laundry rooms, a fitness room, a public terrace, a community room and an outdoor recreation space are also in the cards.
“We know that parking is an issue on Tremont [Avenue],” Perez said. “So we want to offer parking for residents and shoppers.”
Mastermind hopes to start construction in late 2010, Perez said. The planned development sits kitty corner to Echo Park and abuts the rehabbed Tremont Metro-North station. Perez expects it to span E. Tremont from Webster to Park avenues. Tremont Renaissance residents would enjoy a 16-minute Metro-North commute to Midtown Manhattan, he said.
Perez presented the plan to CB6 on Wednesday, November 4. It earned a warm welcome, he said. More that one CB6 member asked Perez to install a daycare center at the development. Mastermind has begun talks with a successful daycare center in the neighborhood, Perez said.