RXR development fuels Mott Haven rental boom

The Real Deal - NYC

Oct. 19, 2023


Another developer has made the leap north over the Hudson River to Mott Haven.

RXR officially arrived in the borough Thursday, completing a 27-story, 200-unit residential rental tower dubbed the Maven. Scott Rechler’s firm, which filed plans for the project three and a half years ago, is the latest of a slew of developers to build recently in the South Bronx neighborhood.

Sixty of the Maven’s units — 30 percent — will be income-restricted and rent-stabilized, a fairly standard percentage for rental projects benefiting from the 421a tax break or a rezoning. The lottery for them launched several weeks ago. Douglas Elliman is handling leases.

The neighborhood has changed drastically since Jarrod Whitaker, RXR’s head of residential operations, had a conversation 14 years ago with former Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz about new development elsewhere in the city.

“He had borough envy,” Whitaker recalled at the Maven’s ribbon cutting. “He was looking around at what was happening in Williamsburg, in Long Island City and other areas of New York City.”

Diaz wouldn’t be so envious now. Thousands of units have come online in the neighborhood, the result of a series of rezonings by the Giuliani, Bloomberg and de Blasio administrations and housing demand growing enough for developers to get financing.

Projects in the neighborhood skew heavily toward rentals, according to RXR and an analysis of condo sales on newdevrev.com, a listing platform for new developments.

“I think for the demographic of who’s up there, what it costs to build, and absorption in New York City, a rental play in this neighborhood is far more profitable than a condo development, especially at these building sizes,” said Nest Seekers’ Bianca D’Alessio, who is handling leases at the Motto, a new, 260-unit building up the street from the Maven.

StreetEasy lists eight active rental buildings in the neighborhood built since last year, with a combined 1,800 units, including the Maven. Seven of the eight hit the market this year.

The median rent at the eight buildings is $3,163, slightly higher than the neighborhood-wide median of $2,999 — a number that has jumped sharply since the peak of the pandemic and is near an all-time high, according to data from StreetEasy.

“All of our pricing is very in-line with one another, so it’s just elevating the entire rental market in this area of the Bronx,” said D’Alessio.

A dearth of available units across the city, combined with low for-sale inventory, has pushed rents up everywhere. That trend could continue, with rental development projected to peter out when the pipeline of 421a projects is exhausted. The tax break expired in June 2022.

Source: https://therealdeal.com/new-york/2023/10/20/rxr-breaks-into-mott-haven-rental-market/

Bianca D'Alessio
Bianca D'Alessio
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker