While affordable housing projects dominate new building permit filings in the South Bronx, in the better-off eastern and northern parts of the borough, YIMBY is starting to see a steady stream of applications for new market-rate rental buildings.
We’ve already seen five permit filings for substantial market-rate projects in the borough this month, and on Friday came a sixth. An application was submitted on behalf of Great Neck-based developer Pejman Sarraf, operating under the name Parkview Heights LLC, to erect a seven-story, 22-unit apartment building at 1701 Parkview Avenue, in the Pelham Bay section of the East Bronx.
The 22 apartments would be divided over a bit more than 17,000 square feet of space, yielding modest apartments averaging less than 800 square feet – one- and two-bedroom rentals, we’re guessing, based on the unit distribution (four each on floors two through six, according to the Schedule A filing, with two units on the penthouse level and a rooftop terrace).
The architect is Briarwood-based Gerald Caliendo, prolific designer of small market-rate buildings in the more affordable reaches of the outer boroughs. 1701 Parkview Avenue will include 11 parking spaces on the ground floor – the absolute minimum required by the zoning code, suggesting that the developer would have preferred to forgo at least some of them, in exchange for the ability to deliver the units at a more affordable price point.
This filing is the second for the site in recent years. Back in 2008, when the recession was just taking hold, a permit was filed on behalf of developer Alfred Reyes for a similarly sized building, which was never built.
While the East Bronx is fairly affluent by Bronx standards, Pelham Bay is a solidly middle-class area, evenly divided between whites and Latinos (mostly Puerto Ricans), with the latter in ascendance. The apartments set to be developed on this site will likely be among the most affordable new market-rate units in the five boroughs, with the land trading late last year for just $640,000, or less than $40 per buildable square foot.
While this piece of land – now home to a prewar single-family detached residence that has been divided into apartments – was untouched by the 2006 Pelham Bay rezoning, the lots fronting on side streets were downzoned slightly. Allowed densities were reduced and parking requirements were increased, making redevelopment and construction of new market-rate affordable housing all the more difficult.
New Yorkers often bemoan the disappearance of affordable, unsubsidized development. Unfortunately there seems to be little love among planners, local council members, affordable housing advocates, and community groups for what little reasonably-priced new construction remains.
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