All the boroughs of New York have seen rapid development over the past year, and finally the large vacant plot of land owned by the City in the Bronx will be transformed to benefit the borough. L+M Development Partners’ plan to turn the property on the waterfront into a 1,045 unit housing complex featuring the Universal Hip-Hop Museum was approved on Tuesday, October 17, 2017. L+M is partnering with Type A Projects, a certified woman-owned business enterprise, to “transform a long-vacant site into a dynamic mixed-sue development, and active connection to the waterfront and a world-class cultural destination.”
The development, called Bronx Point, is located on the Harlem River in the South Bronx next to the Mill Pond Park. The development will not only benefit the community with more housing units, 600 which will be affordable housing for tenants who meet the income threshold, but it will also provide public spaces for the borough. The space will include the long awaited “Universal Hip-Hop Museum, a state-of-the-art movie theater, a food hall incubator for local business, and educational spaces and programming for BronxWorks, CityScience and the Billion Oyster Project [an ecosystem restoration project].”
The project is split up into two phases. Phase I is set to be completed by 2022, which will consist of the affordable housing units and public amenities. Phase II will include the rest of the housing and more public and commercial spaces. The Universal Hip-Hop Museum is the most anticipated development at Bronx Point. The museum sets to preserve the history and culture of hip-hop in its birthplace – the Bronx – and be an attraction for locals and tourists around the globe. The museum was initially going to be set up in the General Post Office, but after plans fell through L+M Development successfully bid on the project as they looked for a “cultural anchor” on their new site.
The area of Bronx Point is vastly changing. The General Post Office is set to undergo redevelopment by new owners Young Woo & Associates who purchased the building in 2014 for $19 million. They will be transforming the Post Office into a large venue for retail and dining, similar to the Chelsea Market. The building’s “13 iconic Depression-era murals” are interior landmarks which the development company will have to incorporate into their new vision. The murals were created by Ben and Bernarda Bryson Shahn in the 1930s and are set to be restored and preserved. The developers and construction company, Hollister Construction Services, have been careful of protecting the building’s historical presence. The area will eventually see enormous growth and therefore the City Council has approved to implement a new school and to do work on current public spaces such as the Franz Siegel Park.