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Old 07-14-2010, 11:34 AM
 
49 posts, read 282,470 times
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The naysayers may disagree with me, but I see the Concourse turning around, albeit slowly. Gentrification above 167th is somewhat far off, but I'm certain that it'll happen. In fact, I suspect that that the pioneers are already here.

I have many reasons for believing this. Here are a few:

1. The city is considering designating the Grand Concourse a historic district, which means that it means to preserve the look of these buildings. Let's face it, though some buildings on the Concourse are in bad shape, their beautiful, and it's only a matter of time before they are discovered.

As you know, characterless buildings (ie. many buildings built after 1960) do not appeal to gentrifiers. The Concourse may have beat-up buildings, but characterless they are not. These buildings are beatiful and I have seen a good share of them being spruced up, including some on the side streets.


2. This is huge: You have access to both the east and the west side thanks to the 4 and D trains, respectfully. It's very convinient.

3. The Bronx Lebanon is building a new hospital building--not a new HIV or methadone clinic but a hospital. Sure, the neighborhood has shelters and tons of section 8 tenants, but if you notice, most of the new low-income buildings are being built elsewhere, in neihgborhoods like Morrisania and Melrose.

4. The Asian population is exploding. I hate making generalizations but I seldom come across Asian families (particularly Indians, Bangladeshi, and Chinese/Korean) who are on section 8. I'm sure their out there, but I don't know of any. I happen to think that these ethnic groups have stabilizing effects on neighborhoods because they are, for the most part, hard-working and take their education very seriously. Again, I'm sorry for making generalizations.

Also, from what I've observed, these types of ethnic groups often shy away from neighborhoods with high crime rates. At least, in great numbers. I'm sure every neighborhood has some of them. All I'm saying is that I seldom see them living in nabes like Morrisania, Morris Heights, and Hunts Point. Heck, not even in Fordham Manor or University Heights.

5. Food selection in supermarkets and restaurants. These things are minor, to be certain, but you know something's up when Chinese stores suddenly start offering brown rice. The same goes for pizzarias who suddenly start offering fresh mozzarella. And supermarkets who suddenly start stocking arrugula, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, and goat cheese (yes, goat cheese). There's even more beer variety. Little changes like this don't seem to mean much, but they do suggest that the neighborhood is changing.

Suddenly I'm seeing way more options in the supermarkets. Somewhat like that way a Gristedes opened in Washington Heights back in the early 2000s and started offering foods that were previously unseen in store shelves across the neighborhood.

6. More proffesionals in the subway in the morning. I've been spotting them more and more. Proffessional blacks and hispanics are taking the train in the morning. Two and a half years ago, when I first moved to Concourse by the Lebanon Hospital, I noticed that very proffessionals where taking the train in the mornings. You would only see high school students. Now that's not the case. I'm seeing many more working proffesionals.

7. Restaurants, supermarkets and even some bodegas are starting to do some remodeling. Some of the remodeling is light, but some is also extensive.

8. The Concourse below 167th is already gentrifying, although much slowly. Sure, it has slowed down somewhat due to the economy, but it's happening. I'm seeing many new faces.

9. Some media outfits have already recognized that the Concourse south of 167th street is coming back. So much of the public is aware.

10. Co-ops by the Concourse and Tremont avenue are selling for $200,000 +. And this is by Tremont, a neighborhood that I consider to be very undersirable.

11. New businesses are coming up in the place and vacant storefronts.

12. The hospital staff that used to, for the most park, park their cars in garages are now parking them outside of the garages.

13. More and more people are beginning to accept that the Bronx is not the bombed out mess it once was.

14. Finally, I'm even spotting white people. Though gentrification has more to do with class than race, this is a big one. Even if the white people moving are poor college grads with part-time jobs.

This is nothing new, however. I've been spotting them for a while, but usually dismiss the sightings as insignificant. Normally, if I see a white person in the neighborhood, I usually assume one of the following:

a. that white person is visiting a minority friend from college.
b. that white person is a hospital employee.
c. that white person is a pharmacist, or a teacher.
d. that white person is a landlord.
e. if that white person looks poor, then he or she is perhaps living in a shelter.
f. that white person is a volunteer or something.

Very seldom do I see them as possible residents. But when you see a few (and I really do mean a few; I don't want to exaggerate) doing laundry and shopping in the supermarkets, then you know things are changing. People are deeming the neighborhood safe. And I've been spotting them, both young (early 20s) and old. The pioneers are here. Trust me, as someone who's lived in Hamilton Heights, Bedford Stuyvesant (by Clinton Hill) and Crown Heights, I've become aware of the signs.


In conclusion, I don't see the Concourse above 167th gentrifying anytime soon, but it's hard to ignore the subtle signs. Change is coming.

Last edited by InquiryMan; 07-14-2010 at 11:43 AM..
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Bronx
14,898 posts, read 17,467,116 times
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Concourse village is an up and coming area in the south bronx. I have also seen lots of professionals come out of their buildings below 167 street. Anywhere abouve the housing court on 167 street won't gentrifiy anytime soon espicially since there is a continuing spill over from washington hieghts.
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:21 PM
 
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Everyone knows this already except the usual haters. It is already happening south of 165th st on the Concourse....that's where the future is. North of 165th is a wasteland and will be stagnant for awhile.
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:29 PM
 
Location: bronx, ny soon to be brooklyn, ny
6 posts, read 20,738 times
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I currently reside on the concourse, by Burnside/ Tremont, been living in the same building for the last five yearas and in this short time, I myself see the change. More diversity in the neighborhoods, but right on Burnside they recently built a low income housing building which requires tenants to have an income no higher than $29,000 and another on the way nearby. I am noticing the cleaner supermarkets and bodegas, more cops patrolling the area, Mom and Pop shops disappearing and more chain stores coming in, like the new mall on Fordham and Webster with Best Buy and 24 Hour Fitness. They also just recently placed a Planet Fitness on Fordham, both gyms I heard are about $50 a month, and remind me of NY Sport Clubs gyms. I find the building designs pretty interesting along the Concourse and my building is one of them. in the 1920s the Grand Concourse was consider the 5th Avenue of the Bronx, with doormen, elevator men in the building and top notch people that lived in the area whom pretty much all left to reside in the Co Op City once those building rose around the 1960s. Would we see a transformation back to it's original nickname? Would be an interesting site to see.
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:39 PM
 
49 posts, read 282,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SobroGuy View Post
Everyone knows this already except the usual haters. It is already happening south of 165th st on the Concourse....that's where the future is. North of 165th is a wasteland and will be stagnant for awhile.
I don't disagree with you. Below 167th is in deed where the action is, and I predict that anything above that won't truly gentrify until things below 167th really become expensive. But that doesn't mean that everything above it is a wasteland. I
Happen to think that the area by the Lebanon, in particular, is fairly decent. And again, I'm already seeing the professionals. Including a few white ones.


As for the blocks north of the Lebanon, I can't say for sure. But the blocks around me are definitely becoming more diverse and cleaner.
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:49 PM
 
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Wasteland is probably too harsh, but really north of 165th to Fordham, and West to the 2/5 train is, with few exceptions, my least favorite part of the Bronx, and the part of the Bronx (central) that is now struggling the most due to lack of investment, inability to build new housing (where would you build it?), no green space, and sheer cluster of poverty.
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:59 PM
 
49 posts, read 282,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asantibk View Post
I currently reside on the concourse, by Burnside/ Tremont, been living in the same building for the last five yearas and in this short time, I myself see the change. More diversity in the neighborhoods, but right on Burnside they recently built a low income housing building which requires tenants to have an income no higher than $29,000 and another on the way nearby. I am noticing the cleaner supermarkets and bodegas, more cops patrolling the area, Mom and Pop shops disappearing and more chain stores coming in, like the new mall on Fordham and Webster with Best Buy and 24 Hour Fitness. They also just recently placed a Planet Fitness on Fordham, both gyms I heard are about $50 a month, and remind me of NY Sport Clubs gyms. I find the building designs pretty interesting along the Concourse and my building is one of them. in the 1920s the Grand Concourse was consider the 5th Avenue of the Bronx, with doormen, elevator men in the building and top notch people that lived in the area whom pretty much all left to reside in the Co Op City once those building rose around the 1960s. Would we see a transformation back to it's original nickname? Would be an interesting site to see.
Those low income buildings are popping up in Morris Heights, some in University Heights, Melrose, Morrisania, West Farms, and Hunts Point. Not so many by the Concourse.

And, oh, did I mention that the Solara Co-Ops in 168th and Grant all sold out before the building even opened. Explain to me why this happened here and not by the much better-looking (and I mean elegantly built) new co-op building on Featherbed Lane in Morris Heights. I think they're called the Washington Bridge View Co-Ops.

http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/20...ridge-view.jpg

Again, I don't believe that this is going to happen soon. In fact, I'm presently closing on a house by Classon Point, which I believe is a much better area. All I'm saying is that the early signs are already present. It'll be maybe five to 10 years before they become really obvious, but they are here. Frankly, there's not really much more I can say to convince people. All I can say is that I live here and have certainly been spotting the little changes here and there. And I also have a wide frame of reference in terms of different Bronx and Brooklyn neighborhoods, and have become somewhat adept at spotting the signs. Again, it's not happening this minute, but it's gonna happen.
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:07 PM
 
49 posts, read 282,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SobroGuy View Post
Wasteland is probably too harsh, but really north of 165th to Fordham, and West to the 2/5 train is, with few exceptions, my least favorite part of the Bronx, and the part of the Bronx (central) that is now struggling the most due to lack of investment, inability to build new housing (where would you build it?), no green space, and sheer cluster of poverty.
No green space? See that's what I'm talking about. Mt. Eden is a parkway, and across it you have Claremont park. And on that parkway, every Thursday or so, you have a farmer's market. Can't get more green than that. You see, the thing about the Bronx in general is that it's very uneven. One block will be crap, and the next will be so so. In fact, one side of a block may be awesome, and the other side will be trash. That's simply the way it is.

To be honest, I feel guilty even about calling Morrisania and Hunts Point wastelands, because the fact is not every square inch of those neighborhoods are bad--some small areas are even quiet attractive, to be honest.
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Old 07-14-2010, 02:29 PM
 
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I understand the parkway, and can't forget Crotona, but the reality is that the community is densely built with old tenements, Morris Heights and University Heights, etc. The South Bronx was not much different except alot of the housing stock was burned to the ground and they subsequently built less dense, 2 and 3 family homes, with more open areas and greening.

Morrisania was a wasteland, and so was Hunts Point, but no longer. I don't think every square inch of any "bad" neighborhood is equally bad, however I see a trend of what communities are improving moreso than others...and what I see is a reshuffling of the deck..with middle/working class people leaving the Northern Bronx (decline), and the Central Bronx becoming the housing of last resort for the poor from within the Bronx and the 4 other boroughs (decline), and the South Bronx getting substantial investment and repositioning to the current and future working/middle class of NYC. Whether this trend continues who knows, but I doubt anyone can deny this is what is happening. The Grand Concourse south of 165th is getting all of the investment, with little to none North of it....
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Old 07-14-2010, 02:37 PM
 
Location: South Bronx
1,275 posts, read 2,081,162 times
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Yes, the Concourse is getting a lot better than it was 25+ yrs ago. There recently was a boxing match at Yankee Stadium, and the Stadium will host a College Bowl game at the end of the year. A beautiful new track across the street from the Stadium, with the rest of Heritage Field to be completed by 2011. Coupled with the Gateway Mall, the Mall at Fordham. All these attractions and investments can only mean good things for the Concourse.
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