The Market

Why NYC renters may be surprised by Mott Haven's new developments

  • Mott Haven leads NYC in production of new housing units as result of two rezonings
  • Fully amenitized buildings have a mix of market rate and rent-stabilized apartments
  • Rents at new developments are lower than other parts of NYC but high for the Bronx
By Jennifer White Karp  |
May 20, 2024 - 9:30AM
Lincoln at Bankside Park

A view of Bankside Park next to the new, seven-tower Bankside development, which created public access to the neighborhood’s waterfront for the first time in a century.

Brookfield Properties

If you’re like a lot of renters hunting in New York City for a new development with all the bells and whistles, the Bronx is probably not your first choice. It may seem too far from Manhattan or you may think rentals there are primarily older buildings.

But new development is taking off in a big way in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx and it may be worth a look. New construction rental buildings have amenities similar to what you would find at luxury buildings (like pools, roof decks, gyms and more), with rents lower than what you find for comparable-sized units in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

Mott Haven’s new development surge is a result of two rezonings, followed by developers pouring funds into Mott Haven, once largely an industrial area known for making pianos, among other types of light manufacturing. Now Mott Haven leads the city for new housing units.

Mott Haven by the numbers

The Bronx accounted for 35 percent of new housing built in 2023 with 9,842 units, surpassing Brooklyn for the first time in 11 years, according to a report from the NYC Planning Department. Mott Haven and neighboring Port Morris saw the most new development with a total of 2,326 new building units in 2023.

There were 387 market-rate rentals on the market in April, a year-over-year jump of 85.2 percent according to a new report from StreetEasy. The neighborhood’s median asking rent was $3,050 in April, 2.7 percent above the borough median rent of $2,696.

For comparison, median rent was $4,250 in Manhattan, $3,599 in Brooklyn, and $3,244 in Queens, according to the Elliman Report for April.

The newest rental buildings in Mott Haven include Maven, Third At Bankside, Lincoln At Bankside, The Bruckner House, 138 Bruckner, and Estela, which all have a mix of market rate and rent-stabilized apartments. Brick spoke to developers and a broker representing these projects to see what renters will find there.

Getting over the Bronx stigma

All sources that Brick spoke with agreed that the Bronx has a stigma in the eyes of many.

“People think of buildings here as affordable, or non-Class A buildings,” said Jarrod Whitaker, senior vice president of residential operations at RXR, which is the developer behind Maven. But in the past 10 years, he says, under the leadership of the former and current Bronx borough presidents, “there’s been a focus on putting in quality developments,” he said. “When people come to Mott Haven and see the offerings, it is a pleasant surprise.”

roofdeck at Maven

Maven, a new 27-story tower at 2413 Third Ave., has a roofdeck with grills.


Courtesy of RXR

Lounce at Maven

A view of a lounge at Maven, which has 21,000 square feet of amenity space.


Courtesy of RXR

Amenities for work and play

Maven, a new, 27-story tower at 2413 Third Ave., has 200 apartments; 60 are rent-stabilized and designated for middle-income households. There are too many amenities to list in full but here are some highlights: 81 enclosed parking spaces and electric vehicle charging stations, a roof terrace, co-working space, gym, media room, game room, and 721 square feet of retail space.

Apartments are a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom floorplans ranging from 502 to 1,272 square feet. “No studios,” Whitaker noted. “Apartments are well-sized compared to Manhattan,” he said.

Available apartments range from a one bedroom, one bath for $3,085 to a two bedroom, two bath for $5,795. Select units have leases with two months free, according to a promotion on the project’s website.

Newcomers are also surprised by what’s in the area, Whitaker said. It’s near Yankee Stadium, and The Hip Hop Museum, and connected to Upper Manhattan by the Third Avenue Bridge. Major institutions like Fordham University, the Bronx Zoo, and the New York Botanical Garden are 15-20 minutes by car.

“The Bronx is the birthplace of hip hop and our project is a stone’s throw from The Hip Hop Museum,” Whitaker said. The museum is opening in 2025.

The South Bronx is also home to several hospitals, and the new buildings are attracting hospital staff as well as other uniformed and municipal workers. About 40 to 50 percent of current renters are local to the Bronx, Upper Manhattan, and lower Westchester. Others are moving from Williamsburg and the Financial District, attracted by the amenities and “compelling rents,” he said.

An interior at The Bruckner House

An interior at The Bruckner House. Leasing launched two months ago and 48 leases have been signed so far.


Courtesy of JCS Realty

More bang for the buck

Joseph Friedman, CEO of real estate brokerage firm Nooklyn, which is marketing rentals at The Bruckner House, located at 40 Bruckner Blvd., says renters get more for their money in the neighborhood.

The neighborhood “reminds me of Long Island City 10 years ago,” he said. That former industrial area, now a hotspot for renters and buyers alike, saw a giant 40 percent population increase from 2010 to 2020, according to Curbed.

Mott Haven is also similarly well situated—it’s the first subway stop on the 6 line in the Bronx. Car owners can get in and out of the city faster than other neighborhoods with its proximity to major highways. “When you’re in the Bronx, you’re two hours away from the Catskills,” Friedman said.

Leasing launched two months ago at The Bruckner House and 48 leases have been signed so far, Friedman said.

The 12-story development has 255 market rate and 110 affordable apartments. Apartments range from studios, one, and two bedrooms; and amenities include a rooftop lounge and pool, outdoor theater, mini golf, work spaces and more. Current available apartments range from a studio with waterfront views and a net effective rent of $2,657 to a 10th-floor, two bedroom, two bath with water views for $4,157 net effective rent.

Friedman noted that while retail in Mott Haven is still being developed, near 40 Bruckner renters will find a two-block stretch of restaurants and retail, including The Lit. Bar, a bookstore and wine bar opened in 2019 by life-long Bronx resident Noëlle Santos. It is “the only brick and mortar bookstore serving the Boogie Down Bronx,” according to its website.

Also in the neighborhood are: Maisonetta, a French-Mexican restaurant at 141 Lincoln Ave.; Mae Mae Café, which serves plant-based food at 2417 Third Avenue; and Chocolate Cortés, a fourth-generation, family-owned, Caribbean bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturing company at 141 Alexander Ave.

Friedman said he expects more retail and grocery stores to follow “just like every neighborhood.”

The Bruckner House roofdeck

On top of the ONE38 is a lounge and pool area.


Courtesy of JCS Realty

He’s also gearing up for the launch of 138 Bruckner, also known as ONE38, a new 12-story ground-up rental development that will have 448 market rate and 131 affordable apartments ranging from studios to two-bedroom layouts.

Apartment amenities include in-unit washers and dryers, soaking tubs, and balconies. The building has a 9,000-square-foot interior garden, gym with sauna and steam rooms, and an Olympic-sized pool—which the developers say is the first of its kind in the Bronx. There are also amenities for working and socializing. Market rate rents for available apartments start at $3,100 for a studio and run $4,600 for a two bedroom, two bath with a terrace.

There is also a housing lottery underway for 135 rent-stabilized units in the building. New Yorkers who earn $105,875 to $218,010 are eligible to apply, depending on the size of the household. Rents start at $3,088 for a studio.

An interior at Third at Bankside

An interior at Third at Bankside, which has three towers and opened to the public in March 2022.


Courtesy of Brookfield Properties

Lincoln at Bankside lap pool with overhead skylight.

A lap pool with overhead skylight at Lincoln at Bankside.


Courtesy of Brookfield Properties

New waterfront access

The Bankside development unlocked access to the industrial neighborhood’s waterfront for the first time in a century.

Charlie Howe, senior vice president at Brookfield, which developed the $950 million project that includes Bankside Park, a waterfront greenspace open to the public.

The location has gone through many iterations in the past, including a former industrial site, train depot, and brownfield remediation site. “For the past 100 years, the neighborhood lacked access to its waterfront,” Howe said. Now there’s over an acre of park space with native plants and trees overlooking the Harlem River.

The Bankside project consists of two phases. The first is Third at Bankside, which has three towers with 324 market rate and 134 affordable units. It opened to the public in March 2022. The second is Lincoln at Bankside, which opened last summer. It has four towers with 644 market rate and 277 affordable units. Rents for a studio start at $3,050 with up to two months free.

Other amenities include a 4,600-square-foot indoor basketball court, indoor and outdoor pools, children’s playrooms and 15,000 square feet of retail and space for local community non-profits including Mott Haven Empowerment Center and Emerging Leaders Program Bx.

He noted that “the Bronx is not the first place many renters think of for this type of amenitized, 24/7 doorman building.” Tenants tend to be those who know the Bronx or know someone who already lives in the building.

Similarly, the neighborhood, pressed up against major roadways, may not be a first choice for many renters either, but he is bullish on its future.

“The reason we had the confidence to invest and build is because there is a vibrant streetscape, with proximity to a major central business district and easy access to transportation,” Howe said. With rents climbing in the city for high-end rentals, the value for what you can get in Mott Haven is significant in today’s financial environment, he said.

Estela by The Domain Companies

A rendering of Estela, a 544-unit project that is expected to receive LEED Platinum level certification, according to its developer.



Going green in the South Bronx

Sustainable living is the theme at Estela, an environmentally-friendly rental project developed by The Domain Companies. It is comprised of two towers at 414 Gerard Ave. (206 units) and 445 Gerard Ave. (338 units). Both buildings were completed in 2023 and 30 percent of units are affordable housing.

Both buildings are expected to receive LEED Platinum, the highest level of certification possible for green buildings, the developer said. Eco-friendly features include eight electric vehicle charging stations, cogeneration heating systems, and solar panels to power the buildings. The development also collects rainwater and reuses it for the greenery in its 15,000 square feet of outdoor space. 

Amenities include a courtyard, screening room, 24/7 concierge, workspace, and gyms. There are studios, one-, and two-bedroom apartments, with rents ranging from $1,486 to $4,141 a month. Apartments have custom cabinetry, energy-efficient windows, and full-size washers and dryers. 

It is located two blocks from where the 2, 4, and 5 express trains stop at 149th Street and Grand Concourse. 

‘It’s the Bronx’s turn’

Brad Zackson, director of development and co-founder at Dynamic Star, which focuses on outer borough rezonings and development projects, said rents at new developments in Mott Haven are high for the Bronx but low for NYC.

He noted that there are many great neighborhoods in the Bronx, some that would be better choices for development, but projects in Mott Haven appear to be doing well.

“The surprise is that many renters are coming from the Bronx,” he said.

The new buildings are being designed like vertical communities, he noted, where you can get to know your neighbors at the pool or at cooking classes. “They’re creating vertical neighborhoods,” he said.

And renters should explore Mott Haven and the rest of the Bronx.

“The Bronx has great neighborhoods, culture, and great food,” Zackson said. “It’s the Bronx’s turn. There’s a lot of room to grow. A lot of great product is available now before prices go up,” he added.

And you could consider this a first step in getting to know a new area before becoming an owner. “I don’t think people realize there are opportunities here for buyers,” he said.

[Editor's note: This piece was updated after publication with the addition of the Estela development and several neighborhood destinations.]



Jennifer White Karp

Managing Editor

Jennifer steers Brick Underground’s editorial coverage of New York City residential real estate and writes articles on market trends and strategies for buyers, sellers, and renters. Jennifer’s 15-year career in New York City real estate journalism includes stints as a writer and editor at The Real Deal and its spinoff publication, Luxury Listings NYC.

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