New market-rate development is finally happening in the South Bronx, and JCAL Development is leading the way with two small buildings under construction near the Major Deegan Expressway in Mott Haven. Now YIMBY has renderings and construction updates for those two projects at 135 and 136 Alexander Avenue, between East 134th Street and Bruckner Boulevard.
Both buildings will have four stories, six units, and ground floor commercial space. Apartments at 136 Alexander will be slightly larger, because it will hold 5,042 square feet of residential space vs only 4,267 square feet at 135. JCAL head Joshua Weissman told us the units will be mostly one- and two-bedrooms with “open, loft-like floor plates” and 15-foot ceilings.
They’ll be relatively upscale for the area, and each unit will have a washer and dryer, stainless steel appliances, and central air. Some renters will even get private roof decks. Amenities at both buildings will include shared roof decks and open terraces on the second floor.
Weissman said he hasn’t decided on pricing yet. But we wouldn’t be surprised if rents were in line with loft conversions at the Clocktower, where apartments hit the market last year starting at $1,775 for a one-bedroom.
136 Alexander has just topped off, and rentals there will hit the market in January or February of 2016. Meanwhile, 135 Alexander has only just gotten off the ground, and walls haven’t even risen above the construction fence yet. Those apartments will likely begin renting next summer.
Businesses haven’t leased the commercial spaces yet, but Weissman told us he’s gotten calls from restaurants and coffee shops.
Like many developers working in marginally profitable neighborhoods, he’s taking advantage of the 421-a tax exemption before the current version expires in January. Until the end of the year, developers in the outer boroughs will rush to put shovels in the ground, so they can get the abatement simply by building outside of Manhattan or the priciest parts of Brooklyn and Queens. The new 421-a will require builders to set aside 25 or 30% of their units as affordable housing in order to qualify for the break in property taxes, even in areas like the South Bronx.