As the fortunes of the Bronx improve, we’re starting to see more permit filings for mid-sized multifamily buildings that appear to be market-rate developments. Yesterday, two such applications showed up: one at 2131 Mapes Avenue, in the Belmont section of the Bronx (the closest thing the borough has to a Little Italy), and the other just a few blocks away, at 866 East 178th Street, in nearby West Farms.
The 178th Street project will reach six stories and hold 40 units, spread over 30,000 square feet of space. The Mapes Avenue one will reach seven stories and have 23 apartments in nearly 15,000 square feet of residential space. Both are the work of Badaly Architects, led by Mohammad Badaly, and responsible for a number of other developments in the borough.
The developer behind the 178th Street project is Kim Tasher, based on West 24th Street in Manhattan. The project at 2131 Mapes is a more local affair, owned by Atlantic Renovations. The firm is led by Robert Lumaj, who hails from the Albanian-heavy neighborhood of Morris Park, in the Bronx. (Albanians are major players in the small world of market-rate real estate development in the borough.)
The Mapes Avenue project is being built on the site of a dilapidated single-family detached wood-frame home, which Lumaj bought earlier this year for just $170,000, according to property records.
The building on 178th Street, on the other hand, is being erected on a surface parking lot that ran Tasher $875,000. Genealogical records show that there was once an apartment building on the site, back when the neighborhood was still Jewish and Italian. It was likely among the massive number of tenements that burned or were abandoned and razed during the decades of urban decline and disinvestment.