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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

New York City Neighborhoods
Melrose, The Bronx

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Melrose is bordered by the intersection of Brook and Park Avenues on the north, Brook Avenue on the east, 149th Street on the south and Park Avenue on the west. Melrose is in Bronx Community District 1.


In 1639, a Swedish sea captain named Jonas Bronck cleared and settled the land in what is today known as the South Bronx. When Bronck died in 1643, the river flowing through his land was named the Bronck's River in his honor. His name-now spelled Bronx-remains associated with the land he farmed.

Developed in the 1850s as a suburb for people who worked in Manhattan, Melrose's early residents were mostly German. The quiet village of Melrose became more populous and more urban in the 1890s, with the advent of the inexpensive 3rd Avenue elevated train line. In the first half of the 20th century, the intersection of East 149th Street and 3rd, Willis, Melrose and Westchester Avenues was the commercial and entertainment center of the borough, and featured many movie theaters, burlesque houses, restaurants and department stores. "The Hub," as it is still called, was a noisy, bustling place with an elevated train running above 3rd Avenue and trolley cars on the other streets.

By the late 1920s, the neighborhood population had grown to include large numbers of Italians, Russian Jews and Irish. In the 1950s, the mix expanded to include the first African-American and Puerto Rican residents.


The Hub is still the commercial center of the district. The theaters and burlesque houses are gone, but the area around East 149th Street continues to be a shopping destination.

The Bronx has thousands of acres of parks and waterfront, and the Melrose area takes special pride and pleasure in its 34.4-acre St. Mary's Park. Recently renovated, it features an indoor swimming pool.

Melrose is well-served by subway, express bus, commuter rail and highways.
There are 15 public elementary schools throughout Community District 1. There are five public junior high schools and six public high schools. In addition, there are seven private or parochial elementary schools and one high school.
Housing Stock:

Housing development is underway in the Melrose area. Melrose Commons is a partially-completed new construction project, designed to provide approximately 2,000 two- and three- family homes affordable to moderate- and middle-income families. Melrose Commons will also have approximately 300 middle-income apartments in three- and four-story buildings. More recently completed completed is the Plaza de los Angeles development, which is composed of 35 three-family homes.

Approximately 540 one- and three-story Nehemiah houses are planned for the area south and north of St. Mary's Park. The Nehemiah Program is a collaboration between the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and a consortium of community-based churches.

Salters Square is a development of 130 low-income townhouses completed in 1988. Located near Charlotte Street, Salters Square presents vibrant testimony to the possibility of urban revitalization. Similarly, Melrose Court-265 condominiums clustered around three courtyards-is an attractive residential development that won numerous design awards in the early 1990s.

Most of the new and rehabilitated homeownership opportunities that are being developed in the area are through HPD programs. You can find more information about HPD's programs and the properties that are currently available by clicking here.

Where do I find my new home?
Many homes in this close-knit community are advertised by word-of-mouth. But in addition to real estate classifieds in the City's large-circulation newspapers, check out local papers like the Bronx Press Review, the Bronx Times, the Bronx News, the Bronx Beat and the Riverdale Press. In addition, you will find real estate magazines in most brokers' offices showing properties currently available. Another potential source of information are the privately-run real estate websites, such as Real Estate Español, Realty Times, or HomeStore.

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