Riverdale has, for generations, been one of New York City’s finest neighborhoods, and remains an incredible place to live and raise a family.
At a time when the city’s severe housing crisis has made it harder than ever for middle-income New Yorkers to find quality rental apartments, it is crucial to create more of these much-needed homes here in the Bronx.
With this in mind, our team has embarked on plans to construct a brand new, fully rent-stabilized property on Palisade Avenue in Riverdale. We believe this exciting project will benefit the city as a whole, while also addressing this specific need within the community — providing individuals and families with new, middle-income housing opportunities.
Most recent residential developments in the greater Riverdale area have been marketed as luxury condominiums, which do not address this underlying need. Our new building of approximately 50 residences, by contrast, will be designed with the community’s renters in mind.
With regard to the urgent need for more rental housing in the Bronx, and specifically in Riverdale and the surrounding communities, it is worth highlighting some recently released data from government officials and academic experts on the issue.
The Bronx’s rental vacancy rate is the lowest of all the five boroughs, with just 2.7 percent of rental apartments vacant for new tenants, according to the latest New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey conducted by the city’s housing preservation and development department.
The rental vacancy rate in Community Board 8 — which includes Riverdale and Fieldston — is even lower, and was recently tallied at just 2.5 percent, according to data analysis by the New York University Furman Center. This represented a significant drop since 2010, when the same data showed the community’s rental vacancy rate to be 3.6 percent.
In addition to providing new housing opportunities, we are pleased that this project will also unlock a parcel of public land adjacent to the property, which had been used for decades as a private parking lot by the former owners. We will advocate for the redevelopment of that land into a public space that could, in the future, be enjoyed by all residents of the Riverdale community.
We recognize the importance of communication with elected officials and local residents to provide accurate information throughout the course of the project. While we have, to date, followed a process that is standard for an as-of-right development such as this, we understand there have been questions from some local stakeholders regarding the process and how our work on the site will be handled over the months to come.
To that end, our team will soon be taking the additional step of sharing a bi-weekly update with community stakeholders on the status of work on Palisade Avenue, which we believe will play a helpful role in facilitating communication moving forward.
It is important to note that all necessary steps have been taken and will be taken to ensure that our construction work on Palisade Avenue is being done properly and safely, in accordance with Department of Buildings and Department of Environmental Protection permits and regulations, as well as the requirements of all other city agencies.
That commitment will never waver.
We look forward to continuing this discussion with community stakeholders moving forward, and providing quality, rent-stabilized housing that will benefit this neighborhood.
The author is managing director at Timber Equities, the development company behind the demolition and proposed construction project at 2395 Palisade Ave.