Back in September 2015, Tahoe Development of Brooklyn purchased two old 2-story factories at 221 East 138th Street at Canal Place in Mott Haven for $2,800,000. The old factories have since been torn down, making way for progress and redevelopment. Tahoe Development had planned for the site to be a 10-story Bronx rental apartment building with 57 apartments, including 20% set aside for affordable housing units. These apartments in the Bronx are made up mostly of studios, 1 bedrooms and a few 2 bedrooms plus residential parking.
Plans filed with the New York State Attorney General’s office reveal that the developer has altered the building plans stating that in the Bronx area (the poorest congressional district in the country), it’s not worth it financially and it doesn’t pay to construct affordable housing anymore including mandatory inclusionary affordable housing. Now Tahoe Development has decided to make the project in Mott Haven entirely market-rate, joining the ranks of a few other ambitious projects in this industrial neighborhood. In its place, a 7-story, 50 unit condominium development will be constructed with ground floor commercial space, according to Anthony Gurino of Tahoe Development.
Subject to change, one-bedrooms will start at $339,000, and a two-bedroom will start at $599,000. Ownership is a corner stone in stabilizing a neighborhood, yet sadly the price of the condos will be far out of reach for the typical Mott Haven resident who wants to stay put. Instead, it will create an affordable opportunity for outsiders who have been priced out of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. The prices will appear very attractive compared to what’s happening across the river in East Harlem as well.
Can you fault Tahoe Development for changing the building plans? Isn’t the objective to rejuvenate the Bronx NY apartments and the entire borough? Yes, de Blasio’s affordable housing plan is a positive step forward for NYC. But in NYC areas where it doesn’t work, do we hold that against the developer for not participating? Or encourage the redevelopment of the Bronx in its entirety?