Living and Working in The Bronx
Irene Guanill | October 17, 2018
Editor’s Note: When Real Estate In-Depth began planning its first special section on The Bronx, the official newspaper of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors turned to perhaps the borough’s chief cheerleader Irene Guanill to provide a market report on its emerging neighborhoods.
North, South, East and West and all the neighborhoods in between make up what is the Bronx. The South Bronx has become an expansion of Manhattan where a two- family home is now priced in the low $800,000s. Manhattan busted out of its seams and now has expanded to the South Bronx. Anywhere along the 6-train route on the east side and the D/4 train route on the west side is a hot commodity. The South Bronx has coffee shops, thrift stores, the HUB shopping district and the storied Yankee Stadium.
Gentrification has definitely arrived in the Bronx. One of the reasons why this is occurring is the borough’s transportation network. Behind Yankee Stadium is the Major Deegan Expressway, the D and No. 4 trains travel north and south while the 6 trains head south to Manhattan and northeast to Pelham Bay. On the west side of the Bronx is Mount Eden where property values are steadily increasing.
If you are looking to start a business you will still find many opportunities available. The North Bronx borders Westchester County and if you take the West Side Highway to the Bronx you will have to pay a toll. It seems so inappropriate that we Bronxites have to pay a toll to get back into our borough from Manhattan. Most Bronxites exit at the last Manhattan exit on the West Side Highway and drive up Broadway to avoid the Manhattan/Bronx toll, as a matter of principle. Or you can exit at 177th Street and visit Fort Tryon Park in Manhattan before coming up to Van Cortlandt Park via Broadway, the 225th Street bridge is FREE and brings you right into the Broadway shopping district. All other bridges from Manhattan to the Bronx are free so you can understand our Bronxite non-verbal protest to the one toll bridge entering the Bronx.
In the Bronx we have three golf courses, Van Cortlandt Park, which has a golf course and an ice-skating rink, a beautiful dog park and walking trails. Trump Golf Links in Throggs Neck, which recently opened a great restaurant and hall for events; Split Rock Golf Course by Shore Road is considered part of Pelham Bay and also features a venue for entertaining and functions. Be it Riverdale, Country Club or Classon Point you seek, you will have the best water views you could dream of. The property values have been stable in neighborhoods such as Riverdale and Country Club for decades, whereas Classon Point just installed a new ferry option for transportation to Manhattan and real estate is on the rise. In Riverdale you will want to take a tour of Spuyten Duyvil Shorefront Park. It is a smaller botanical garden with incredible views of the Hudson. Many days I have gone there for walks and it is the perfect place to just smell the flowers.
Bordering Country Club is Throggs Neck and Pelham Bay. These neighborhoods are in the Northeast Bronx by City Island, which most people can reference as the Landmark neighborhood for the best seafood in the Bronx. Both Riverdale in the West Bronx and Country Club in the East Bronx have stable real estate sales and offer residential feels that anyone would enjoy. If it is Riverdale you seek, definitely look at the Kingsbridge, Woodlawn and the Norwood sections as additional options. They are all hops, skips and jumps if you are traveling to Manhattan, Westchester or New Jersey. Woodlawn Cemetery offers tours, it is a national historic landmark. Visit https://www.thewoodlawncemetery.org/events/ to schedule your next twilight tour of the cemetery. Kingsbridge/Riverdale has access to the 1/9 train and most neighborhoods offer an express bus to Manhattan.
Mosholu Parkway, Pelham Parkway and Allerton neighborhoods are more in the center of the Bronx and offer short cuts from east to west on any day. Morris Park and Pelham Gardens are both considered double commute areas. You will pass the Botanical Gardens, the Bronx Zoo and if you are heading to Fordham Road to shop for clothing, jewelry or furniture you should stop by Arthur Avenue for a meal. A beautiful view of Fordham University will be yet another highlight of your travels. Many high schools use the sports facilities for competitions. Morris Park has quaint homes that are moderately priced as well as parks and foods of many different cultures. Westchester Square is very welcoming and if you are interested in starting a business we have a location for you.
In the center of the Bronx, you can enjoy the best food, shows and animals the Bronx has to offer at Arthur Avenue, Botanical Gardens and the Bronx Zoo. Arthur Avenue has many restaurants and bakeries to choose from. For that matter every neighborhood in the Bronx has great food, just ask any local Realtor for the best place to eat in the neighborhood. I find Realtors keep their eyes on our neighborhoods and food is one of the perks. One will never accomplish the full exploration of the Bronx in a day and the highlights are many, so a move to the Bronx could be a great decision.
Pelham Bay is home to the largest park in New York City, Pelham Bay Park is 2,772 acres which is approximately three times larger than Manhattan’s Central Park. Pelham Bay Park is completely renovated with a new dog park, Explorers Park for children with disabilities, bike and walking trails, tennis courts, football and baseball fields and a beach with 13 miles of shoreline available with a boardwalk and lots of outdoor entertainment. Orchard Beach has salsa lessons and Zumba on the weekends in the summer. You can enjoy the beach, the basketball courts, a beautiful nature walk at Hunter Trails, and offers views of other parks where you can enjoy a canoe ride, a car show and delicious food. Please do not miss out on a horse ride from Pelham Bit Stables on the trails of Pelham Bay and Orchard Beach, it is sure to be an experience. You can also schedule a bird watching tour with a park ranger. Many people visit the Bronx and all are in awe of all the beauty it has to offer. The New York City Parks Department will also, by appointment, rent you a canoe to use for the day. The Bronx Parks are filled with so much to do during the summer. Your weekends would be filled with Bronx entertainment and exploration. Summer fun and much to do right here in the Bronx!
On Pelham Parkway this time of year at 1605 Pelham Parkway, we have what is known to all locals as the Christmas House. Yes, the Christmas House is a brick two-family home on the corner of Pelham Parkway where families from near and far line up to view all the magic one family can provide. I have been visiting their home since I was a kid and many years later I took my kids and still today they offer a special show right here in the Bronx. It is especially enjoyable being it is here in the Bronx and we do not have to travel for hours in traffic to Manhattan. Beautiful life-size ornaments and decorations displayed with beautiful lights and moving figures.
Shore Haven is the most Southern point of the Bronx, but it is not considered the South Bronx. This neighborhood is called Classon Point. You have a beautiful water views of Manhattan and with the new ferry you can park your car within four blocks and hop on the ferry to Manhattan.
Classon Point has seen a boost in sales now that the ferry is fully operational. Classon Point is a double commute area; you need to take a bus/car to the train or now the ferry is a great travel alternative. With the ferry being 30 minutes to Wall Street and shorter to 42nd Street and a stop on 90th Street, we have greater travel opportunities within the area in less time. In the neighborhood you will find a beautiful gated community of condominiums priced to sell. The complex features many amenities and is called Shore Haven.
City Island is off to the side of Orchard Beach and the mile-long neighborhood is diverse and village like. In the fall you should enjoy the street festivals of clam chowder competitions, in the summer the bass competitions and twice a year the local theatre offers a play or musical. If you want to go fishing, schedule your trip on the Riptide III for all your fishing fun. Many local blocks have private access to the water with a private beach for those that live on the block. In the summer you will see many locals out on their boats. Orchard Beach hosts an annual fireworks show the weekday prior to July 4th.
I do hope you take the time to visit the Bronx and if you choose to live here I know you will love it here. Every neighborhood has beautiful parks, many different choices of entertainment and foods with so much appreciation for the arts and nature. After all, we have the best zoo in all of New York City and the largest park! The Bronx neighborhoods can offer a fast city life or a small community filled with good days and many local community activities. How you live here is your choice. Get involved in the community you live in or not, it is your decision and how you get involved will make the difference of the experience you have while living here.
Join the community in activities, meetings and events. Join the Friends of Pelhambaypark.org. Go to a movie in a park. Every neighborhood has a civic association to join. When you find the neighborhood of your choice join the civic association and make new friends.