Since the ‘60s, the Bronx is synonymous with a place of extreme poverty. A place where the seemingly well-to-dos are just working-class families, failed urban planning with violence and decay. But in recent years, this ashen neighborhood has begun to pick up its charred pieces and make its way to a cultural resurgence.
It’s undeniable that the Bronx carries with it a stigma of violence. The later decades of the 1900’s brought turmoil and fires for the borough. This resulted in driving out big business and manufacturing centers, leaving the Bronx in economic and cultural ruin. New York State has made persistent efforts to clean up the area. While violence and crime are surely far from non-existent, things are definitely looking up. The past year has yielded a 21% drop in murders, 14% drop in shootings, and a 5.8% decrease in incidents across all major crime categories. Much of this is attributed to the 15% increase in police-regulated gun seizures. These improvements are real strides for this borough towards a revival.
Gentrification of The Bronx
Gentrification, the double-edged sword, is a leader in this real estate revival. Already residents of expensive boroughs like Manhattan, Brooklyn and the upcoming Queens begin to feel the effects of rising housing costs and inflation. As residents struggle with the need to stay close to work, the Bronx offers a solution. Average rent prices are $2,550 per month and $2,300 per month in Brooklyn and Queens respectively, and when compared to a $1,900 per month in the Bronx, the possibilities of making the Bronx a home start to look more favorable.
At the center of the borough’s growth is South Bronx, endearingly renamed “SoBro” by the trendy, young crowd that it has attracted. Here in the former piano manufacturing hub, renovations are giving the area a more upscale feel. Distribution centers in Mott Haven, a 300,000 square foot TV/film studio in Soundview, and the conversion of a five-acre armory into the largest ice-skating and winter Olympic training center in the U.S. will all add value to the area, driving real estate and demand skywards. Already appearing all over SoBro are high-end sushi bars, lofts and boutique hotels. The Bronx is the new Brooklyn, and the market is hot.