South Bronx Initiative Plan
The South Bronx 161st Street Corridor encompasses the both the Bronx Civic Center and Melrose Commons / Third Avenue business districts. The Bronx Civic Center is an urban center with a strong civic and office core, bolstered by new and enhanced regional destinations like Yankee Stadium, Gateway Center, Harlem River Waterfront parks, and the Bronx Museum of the Arts. The recently constructed 775,000 square foot (SF) Bronx Hall of Justice, designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects, consists of 47 different Supreme and Criminal Court rooms. The nearby Joyce Kilmer Park and Lou Gehrig Plaza provide public parkland and settings for concerts, exhibitions, and festivals.
Melrose Commons / Third Avenue is a thriving residential area with vibrant cultural and retail activity. The Hub, located along Third Avenue, is a regional commercial center of the South Bronx where more than 200,000 pedestrians pass through each day. As of 2010, over 400,000 SF of retail space has been built on public sites around Melrose Commons and the Hub. Boricua Village is a public / private development that includes a satellite campus of Boricua College, 689 units of mixed-income housing, 47,000 SF of retail space, and 1.6 acres of public open space.
In 2008, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg released the “South Bronx Initiative” (SBI). This plan reflects an effort to sustain the positive effects of several development and infrastructure projects that the City has undertaken over the past 3 years to attract private investment and promote the creation of affordable housing, retail, and office space in the South Bronx. As a result, over $3 billion of public / private investment and new development will create almost 16,000 construction and permanent jobs and lay the groundwork for additional, sustainable growth.
In September 2009, the City Council adopted the 161st Street/River Avenue Rezoning to provide opportunities for new high-density residential, commercial, and community facility development in the civic heart of the Bronx. These recent zoning changes and public investments have primed the 161st Street Corridor as a convenient, affordable, and attractive office environment, including the ongoing construction of the neighborhood’s first Class A office building.
With new destinations like the Harlem River waterfront parks and the new Yankee Stadium, the South Bronx 161st Street Corridor is fast becoming a dynamic urban center of year-round activity for workers, residents, and visitors. The area has some of the best transit access in the Bronx, with stops on the B, D, and 4 subway lines, two new Metro North stations (Yankee Stadium Station and North Melrose Station are both less than 15 minutes from Grand Central Station), as well as proximity to the Major Deegan and Cross Bronx Expressways. The Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market, completed in 2009, provides a 913,000 SF retail anchor in the community alongside a vibrant corridor along 3rd Avenue of local shops and restaurants.