FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG, BRONX BOROUGH PRESIDENT CARRIÓN AND THE RELATED COMPANIES BREAK GROUND FOR THE HUB RETAIL AND OFFICE CENTER IN THE BRONX
Project Will Also House Department of Finance’s New Business Center
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, Jr. and Steve Ross of The Related Companies LP today broke ground for the Hub Retail and Office Center in the South Bronx. The Related Companies will build an approximately 170,000 square-foot mixed-use facility on vacant, formerly City-owned property at the northern end of the Hub commercial district that will contain retail space and the Department of Finance's Bronx Business Center. The developer will also renovate a former municipal parking garage. The $56.7 million project will create about 230 construction jobs and 225 new permanent jobs, and generate approximately $35 million in sales and payroll tax revenue over the next 25 years. When complete, the Department of Finance will relocate an additional 225 employees to the new facility from other locations in the Bronx. The City will provide about $16 million for construction, fit-out and equipment of the Finance Department's business center, and the Bronx Borough President will provide an additional $500,000 for the project. Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo and Department of Finance Commissioner Martha E. Stark attended the ceremony at the site located between 153rd and 156th Streets on Third Avenue in the Bronx.
"The Hub Retail and Office Center joins the redevelopment of the Bronx Terminal Market and Yankee Stadium area as another major milestone in the ongoing renaissance of the South Bronx," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The Center will create new economic activity and provide hundreds of jobs for Bronx residents. The development will extend the Hub commercial district and connect it to the growing residential area of Melrose where the Department of Housing Preservation and Development has invested heavily in revitalization projects. In addition, establishing the Bronx Business Center will provide Bronx residents a one-stop location to pay bills and check records, and it will attract thousands to the area, spurring additional retail growth."
"This significant investment in The Hub Retail and Office Center in the Bronx is indicative of the optimism people have in the Bronx and another example of the unprecedented economic development that has been taking place in our borough in recent years," said Bronx Borough President Carrion. "This is not just about investing in property and business; it is about investing in people. When we invest wisely in our communities we create opportunities for people to reap the benefits of a strong economy and give future generations more advantages to succeed in a competitive economy."
Related plans to construct a two-story, 170,000- square-foot retail and office building and rehabilitate the adjacent parking garage with retail space on the ground floor. The four-story garage, which has been vacant for many years, will be completely renovated with space for 265 cars and new systems to allow more efficient entry and exit. The Hub Retail and Office Center will be home to retailers including Staples, Rite Aid and Forman Mills, an apparel retailer. An additional 1,500 square feet of office will be made available for use by the local community board.
Related purchased the property from the City as a result of a Request For Proposals issued by Economic Development Corporation (EDC ) for $1 million. The project is financed in part by a $4 million low-interest loan provided by EDC. New York City Industrial Development Agency (IDA) is also providing up to $1.8 million in real estate and tax benefits. The project is expected to be completed in 2008.
"We are excited to be able to develop this project in the Bronx," said Related CEO Stephen M. Ross. "The Hub Retail and Office Center will serve as an important northern anchor to this thriving retail district, and the jobs it is creating will provide significant benefit to the surrounding community. This project would not be possible without the active vision and participation of the City of New York under the outstanding leadership of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. It is yet another successful example of the public-private partnerships that are bringing jobs, investment and opportunity to neighborhoods all around the five boroughs of New York City."
The Bronx Business Center will consolidate two other Bronx centers and will be the Finance Department's centralized location for 1.4 million Bronx residents to pay bills, contest fines and check records. In addition, the Center will house Finance's City Register's Office which provides deed recordation services through state-of-the art technology, the Automated City Register System (ACRIS). Offices for the surveyor, sheriff and property division will also be located at the new facility. With its easy access to public transportation and ample parking, the new Bronx Business Center will make it easier for Bronx residents to conduct business with the City in modern office space that is more accessible than the other two Bronx centers. Similar centers in the other four boroughs have successfully increased activity in those locations. It is estimated that the Bronx Business Center will attract as many as 1,000 people per day, further strengthening Hub's role as a retail destination.
"The new Bronx Business Center is another example of this Administration's dedication to providing world-class customer service," said Finance Commissioner Stark. "The 225 Finance employees who will work at this center will be on the front line for government when it interacts with citizens. With double the amount of hearing rooms and an increased number of payment windows, Bronx residents will be able to pay bills and contest parking tickets with the convenience and efficiency they deserve."
"The Hub Retail and Office Center is an extraordinary achievement that is in keeping with the Mayor's economic development goals to make the City more livable, business friendly and economically diverse," said EDC President Alper. "By working with the community and the private sector, we are able to break ground today on an exciting new facility that will open much-needed retail options to Bronx residents."
The Hub Retail and Office Center is an important example of the Bloomberg Administration's commitment to revitalizing the South Bronx. To the west, the new Yankee Stadium to be built just north of the existing stadium will bring a new waterfront park and esplanade along the Harlem River, as well as significant streetscape, traffic and infrastructure improvements. In addition, the new Gateway Center at the Bronx Terminal Market will include a one million-square-foot retail center and a public park along the waterfront. The project will bring 5,000 permanent and construction jobs to the South Bronx and is expected to generate more than $20 million in annual tax revenue for the City.
To the east in Hunts Point, the Bloomberg Administration has worked closely with community leaders to create the Hunts Point Vision plan and is working to implement the plan's goals. The City invested $110 million at the Hunts Point meat and produce markets and moved the Fulton Fish Market's 38 wholesalers and 600 employees to their new $85 million facility at the Food Distribution Center in Hunts Point. The state-of-the-art market generates about $1 billion annually in economic activity.
Stu Loeser/Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958
Janel Patterson/Andrew Brent (Economic Development Corp.)
Owen Stone (Department of Finance)