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Developer Lightstone Scoops Up Properties in Mott Haven for $59M to Build Apt Complexes

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Artist's rendering of a future Bronx development on the Harlem River, similar to the one planned by Lightstone, which is being spearheaded by Brookfield.

The South Bronx used to be one of the worst neighborhoods in the country. It is now becoming one of the more expensive.

Developer Lightstone just purchased two properties in Mott Haven, along the Harlem River, for a reported $59 million – that is $125 per foot – and says it is going to construct an apartment complex on the sites.

Lightstone President Mitchell Hochberg recently told the Commercial Observer that it plans to construct approximately 2,000 housing units on the two sites. The project is said to include 70 percent market rate units, 30 percent affordable, a retail component and parking. Building is scheduled to begin next year, and be completed in 2022.

“Lightstone beat out a dozen other suitors eager to gain a foothold in the Bronx’s residential renaissance by leaping from offer to all-cash closing in just one week,” reported the New York Post. “To push the interest and pricing, two property owners at 355 and 399 Exterior St. agreed to offer their sites as a package which was marketed by Jason Meister, Marion Jones and Christopher Gillis of Ackman-Ziff.”

Mott Haven has certainly become a hub of activity. In his State of the Borough speech last month, Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. talked about Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposed Mott Haven jail for an NYPD tow pound at 320 Concord Avenue. “We’re not accepting this,” the borough president said. “We will continue to make a case that Mott Haven is not the best location for a jail. Criminal justice reform experts say jails should be located near courthouses for a myriad humane of reasons in the interest of justice. We must continue to fight crime humanely and intelligently.”

At the same time, executives at Great Performances, a celebrated caterer known for working with cultural institutions, said it would move its headquarters this summer from Manhattan to a pair of floors at The Bruckner Building at 2417 Third Avenue.

“Great Performances found a space that nearly doubles its existing footprint,” reported the Bronx Times. “The company prepares and ships its finished gourmet products to exclusive clients at cultural institutions including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Asia Society, Apollo Theater, Plaza Hotel, New York Wine and Food Festival and Wave Hill.”

If that were not enough, permits have reportedly been filed for an 11-story affordable housing building at 345 St Ann’s Avenue in Mott Haven. “Located on the corner of East 142nd Street and St Ann’s Avenue, the corner lot is four blocks from the Brook Avenue subway station, serviced by the 6 train. New York City’s Housing Preservation and Development is listed as the owner behind the applications,” reported newyorkyimby.com.

“The proposed 115-foot tall development will yield 181,419 square feet, with 132,046 square feet designated for residential space, 7,512 square feet for commercial space, and 3,162 square feet for community facilities,” the web site added. “It will have 170 residences, with an average unit scope of 776 square feet. The concrete-based structure will also have a cellar.”

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