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Changes Happening in 'The HUB' in the Bronx

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A lot of changes are happening in The HUB, one of the Bronx's major shopping areas. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.

Take a walk through the shopping area around Third Avenue and 149th Street, The HUB. You'll notice things are changing.

"There is a lot of new stores, a lot of new restaurants," said one person in the neighborhood.

"The new stores is good," said another person. "I hope they fill 'em all up."

New stores opening, construction happening, and of course, empty lots will become more affordable housing, a project announced by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg late last December.

And that's not all. There's also a new hotel opening up in the area. It's called the Umbrella Hotel and is on Elton Avenue.

"I was so happy because we don't have one around this area," said one person in the neighborhood.

The Umbrella Hotel is set to open in September and will feature 56 rooms, as well as something locals will enjoy, too, - a rooftop lounge.

"It will be something, sort of a nice hangout," said real estate developer Manny Chadha. "There are a lot of nice views up there. You can see the 59th Street bridge, Manhattan skyline a little bit. It'll be something that this neighborhood doesn't have."

"That's a good idea. I might go there. I might come over here on the weekend with some friends," said one person in the neighborhood.

It would be the second boutique hotel in the neighborhood, since the Opera House Hotel on 149th Street opened up about a year ago. Chadha, though, isn't worried about the competition.

"There's still a demand, I feel, for better hotels, unique hotels. We're just not, we're not a Howard Johnson. We're a boutique place. It's very personal. It's not like a cookie-cutter hotel," he said. "We're going to work together. You know, when we're full, we could send customers that way."

He and those who live nearby say the extra rooms will ultimately help the neighborhood.

"It's very good because we're going to have more job positions available for the people," said one person in the neighborhood. "It's good too for the tourist."

"This area, they will support the neighborhood," Chadha said. "People that come stay here, you know, they will eat food and shop in the Third Avenue shopping district."

They will also hopefully encourage more development in an area that's already seeing billions of dollars of investment.

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