Soccer is coming to the Bronx! Major League Soccer team New York City Football Club (sister club of Premier League Champions Manchester City) has announced plans to build a 26,000 seat stadium as well as a waterfront retail and residential complex at the Bronx’s Harlem River Yards property.
The proposed project, first reported by NYYimby.com, will see the Harlem River Yards in the Bronx redeveloped by a consortium of investors, including Related Companies, Somerset Partners and the New York City Football Club itself. They will form part of a larger Empire State Development corporation, which plans to cover over the 12.8 acre train yard with a mixed use development, set to include 550 affordable housing units and a waterfront park. The stadium is projected to cost about $75 million out of a $700 million overall budget, and will be designed by Rafael Viñoly, the architect behind iconic New York sites like 432 Park Avenue and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
The proposal, which anticipates a 2022 completion date, is still being finalized and is contingent on state selection and approval. If granted, the partnership would pay $500,000 per year for a 99-year ground lease.
The Bronx has been increasingly in the news as rapid gentrification has proved to be a contentious issue. In 2015 the NYU Firman Center named the Mott Haven/Hunts Point area one of the city’s top ten gentrifying neighborhoods.
Keith Rubenstein of Somerset Partners, one of the developers involved in the Harlem Yards project, has been instrumental in Bronx development. Two years ago he sparked the ire of locals by attempting to rebrand a part of the South Bronx as The Piano District. Since then he has tried to win back favor by funding different arts and quality of life type projects (coffee shops, museums, galleries, etc.).
However, before betting on the Bronx, he bought up offices and residential buildings
throughout New York, Chicago and DC. One of his most noteworthy properties is the $85 million Upper East Side townhouse he shares with his wife.
Luxury real estate is not usually associated with the Bronx, but the borough has a few plush properties in up-and-coming Riverdale. One notable building is the decade old Solaria which has 3 bedroom condos priced from $1,299,000 to $1,550,000 and a 5 bedroom, 5 bathroom condo at $3,100,000. A full floor 7 bedroom, 9 bathroom duplex is listed at $8,950.000. Also in Riverdale is Skyview, a more reasonably priced residence with condos ranging from $304,750 to $742,900.
The Real Deal suggested last year that it won’t be long before the luxury condos make their way to the once troubled South Bronx.
“The artists and the restaurants come in first,” said Andrew Gerringer, head of new business development at The Marketing Directors. “The apartment developers come in second, and the condo developers come in after them.” Leading the charge is Somerset Partners’ planned four-tower building at 101 Lincoln Avenue with market rate apartments.
An international soccer stadium nearby fits the bill nicely.