There aren’t many architects nowadays who would expect to get the opportunity to work on a Gothic Revival Castle in New York City, but TRA Studios is doing exactly that in The Bronx’s Riverdale neighborhood. Instead of building a new one, they are redesigning Fonthill Castle to accommodate a new school for the College of Mount Saint Vincent.
New development rarely happens in Riverdale, a northwestern Bronx neighborhood where low-density zoning has protected wealthy areas full of single-family homes. But new, mid-rise buildings are allowed on several blocks along the Henry Hudson Parkway. A developer hopes to build on one such project at 3641 Johnson Avenue.
Sometimes, the wheels of new development roll very slowly. It was close to two years ago that a proposal for three new houses in the Bronx’s Fieldston Historic District went before the Landmarks Preservation Commission. A revised (and scaled-down) proposal came before the commissioners last Tuesday, but there was, again, no approval.
In January, D&K Realty Development filed applications for three three-story, three-family residential buildings at 518-522 West 232nd Street, in southern Riverdale, located six blocks from the 231st Street stop on the 1 train. Now, the developer is scraping those plans, in favor of a single building. Newly filed applications call for a four-story, nine-unit structure measuring 14,148 square feet. The residential units should average 996 square feet, which means condominiums are probably in the works. Amenities listed in the Schedule A include an eight-car parking garage in the cellar and a laundry room. Flushing-based Michael Kang is still the architect of record.
New development rarely happens in Riverdale, because big brick co-op buildings and townhouses populated most of the northwestern Bronx neighborhood in the wave of construction that swept across New York City after World War II. But every once in a while, a developer cobbles together a site in the quiet, middle-class enclave. Yesterday, we spotted permits for a 14-story apartment building at 3644 Oxford Avenue, just over the border from Fieldston.