I have a feeling this will be big and we should keep tabs on it. Given that the Bronx is booming and seen as the new frontier for large developments due to land price.
State eyes massive development over South Bronx rail yard
The state wants to deck over a nearly 13-acre rail yard in the South Bronx to make way for a massive waterfront development in the area, which is attracting more private investment as land costs rise elsewhere in the city.
Last month, Empire State Development released a request for expressions of interests, inviting developers to present offers for leasing or purchasing the land, decking over the yards, then building a sizable residential or mixed-use project on top.
The parcel sits along the Harlem River, just north of the Willis Avenue Bridge. It is currently used as a transfer station to move goods between cross-country trains and trucks that traverse the tristate area—a use the state plans to maintain going forward.
“It’s exciting, and very rare to offer the opportunity to develop more than a dozen acres of prime waterfront land in New York City,” ESD head Howard Zemsky said in a statement.
The site is part of a 96-acre area called the Harlem River Yards, which is owned by state Department of Transportation and leased to a private company, which in turn leases out many of the buildings to industrial tenants. Because the zone is governed by something called a general project plan, the state does not need to get any local approvals to change the zoning—say from manufacturing to residential or retail—which can instead be implemented through a state approval process.
In addition to maintaining the transfer station beneath the deck, the state wants proposals that cover opening access to the waterfront, boosting the local economy and creating affordable housing. At 12.8 acres, the site is slightly less than half the size of the Hudson Yards development going up over rail yards on Manhattan’s west side, and is on par with the scale of a proposal released last year by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
That plan called for decking over a 13-acre rail yard near Lehman College, between the neighborhoods of Bedford Park and Kingsbridge Heights, farther north in the borough. Diaz predicted such a project could create more than 1,000 apartments.
“New deck construction has the potential to bring transformative development projects to many Bronx neighborhoods,” Diaz said in a statement. “I look forward to examining the level of interest this [request] brings to the Harlem River Yards and how that interest could inform future opportunities for platform projects.”
The state plans to conduct an on-site tour Dec. 14. Interested parties must submit proposals by Feb. 2.