Construction has broken ground on phase one of Bronx Point, a mixed-use development in the South Bronx. In addition to 542 affordable housing units, phase one includes construction of the Universal Hip Hop Museum, 2.8 acres of public open space, and a robust mix of community facilities.
Designed by S9 Architecture, the building will top out at 22 stories. The surrounding open space was designed by Marvel in collaboration with Abel Bainnson Butz. L+M Development Partners and Type A Projects are the private entities leading development of the project.
“New York City is building a recovery for all of us, and that starts with transformative projects like Bronx Point in the heart of the Bronx,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “From major investments in affordable housing, to a permanent place to celebrate the music that has made the Bronx famous around the world, this project demonstrates what every real New Yorker already knows: there’s no stopping New York City.”
As a public-private partnership, financing sources include the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Housing Development Corporation, and Empire State Development, in addition to Wells Fargo. The overall funding includes $323.5 million for the building, along with $27 million for the waterfront esplanade’s construction from the NYCEDC.
To celebrate the construction milestone, a groundbreaking event was held on Thursday, May 20 at 50 East 150th Street in the South Bronx at the eastern boundary of the property. Attendees included Mayor Bill de Blasio, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, hip hop legends Nas, LL Cool J, Fat Joe, and Lil Kim, among other city officials and musicians.
At the groundbreaking, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced that he would contribute $4.2 million from his office’s capital budget to support the Universal Hip Hop Museum’s capital campaign, which is one of the largest single funding allocations of the borough president’s tenure.
“The groundbreaking for the first phase of Bronx Point is a tremendous step forward for our borough,” Diaz Jr. said. “Not only will this project create much-needed affordable housing units, but it will also activate underutilized space, open up more waterfront to public access, create new public spaces and retail amenities for community use. This development will combine two of my favorite things, history and hip hop, bringing the Universal Hip Hop Museum to its rightful location in the birthplace of hip hop, The Bronx.”
The residential component will comprise 542 units reserved for households and individuals earning between 30 to 120 percent of Area Median Income, along with apartments for the formerly homeless. The mix of residences will include 135 studios, 192 one-bedrooms, 122 two-bedrooms, and 93 three-bedrooms. Planned amenities will include an outdoor terrace for residents, laundry facilities, a children’s room, a community lounge, a bike storage room, and a fitness center.
On-site community facilities will include an early childhood space run by BronxWorks, and outdoor science programming run by the Billion Oyster Project. Planned public spaces will include an esplanade along the Harlem River with seating, BBQ areas, outdoor fitness facilities, and public bathrooms. Additional open space will include a playground and landscaped area adjacent to the existing Mill Pond Park.
“Bronx Point is a complete reimagining of a dormant, underutilized piece of waterfront property that will create new affordable housing and long-anticipated amenities for the entire borough to enjoy, and I am proud to be a part of it,” said Ron Moelis, CEO and co-founder of L+M Development Partners. “The project will provide new open space with access to the Harlem River, a permanent home for the Universal Hip Hop Museum, and community programming with Bronxworks and the Billion Oyster Project.”
Phase one of Bronx Point is expected to be completed by late 2023. The project’s second phase will introduce additional housing units, retail, and unspecified community facilities. In all, the 530,000-square-foot Bronx Point will include around 1,045 apartment units, more than 56,000 square feet of educational and community space, along with more than 12,000 square feet of retail space. Total project costs hover around $349 million.
The Prusik Group, L+M’s partner on Essex Crossing on the Lower East Side and the new National Urban League Headquarters in Harlem, will serve as the project’s retail development advisor.
“Today marks a major step toward advancing the administration’s key investments in the South Bronx,” said Rachel Loeb, president and CEO of New York City Economic Development Corporation. “By bringing affordable housing, waterfront access, and a range of cultural facilities including the city’s first Hop Hop Museum, we are creating a more equitable New York. We are proud to break ground on the BronxPoint to bring these much-needed community benefits to the South Bronx.”