It's not just home buyers who are giving the Bronx a new look. In the second part of her series, The Bronx is Booming, NY1 reporter Erin Clarke tells us why a growing number of businesses from other parts of the city are relocating to the borough.
For a time, "Brooklyn was it" for the guys behind Grady's Cold Brew iced coffee.
Their 6,000-square-foot headquarters in Williamsburg was a lucky find on Craigslist six years ago.
Now they're expanding, but space in Brooklyn is at a premium.
"What we found was rent was super high and the building quality was not that great," said Grady Laird, President of Grady's Cold Brew.
So they turned to a building in Hunts Point. It is twice the size, and will be their production house.
"What we'll be paying in 15 years at the end of that lease is less than we would be paying starting off in Brooklyn," the entrepreneur said.
Laird's story is becoming a familiar one, a reversal from just a few years ago.
"I couldn't convince one single business to move to the Bronx," said Marlene Cintron, President of Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation.
Today, there are 1,800 more businesses in the Bronx than there were seven years ago — a nearly 12% increase.
That's double the rate of growth in the previous eight years. No other borough saw such an improvement.
"I've seen a lot of companies call and inquire about Bronx opportunities," said Miquela Crayter, Vice President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
Another one of them is Chelsea Craft Brewing Company.
It began at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan, but after flooding from Hurricane Sandy, it was time to move.
Chelsea Craft Brewing eventually settled in an unexpected location, surrounded by auto and food packing businesses in the central Bronx, an area zoned for manufacturing and industry.
The company's rent is 80% less than in Manhattan, but their new, larger home can accommodate tours, a tap room and restaurant — the first Bronx brewery of its kind.
"A lot of people think of the Bronx as the old south Bronx," said Patrick Greene, director of brewery operations. "But when I got off the exit on the Cross Bronx and got here in two seconds I said wow."
It's not just affordable rents and access to highways and mass transit luring businesses. Property is cheaper here, too.
Tile company Sicis has expanded from SoHo in Manhattan to a building it bought in Port Morris, which it is now renovating to add a floor.
"It means that we can grow as we feel we need to," said Amy Tanenbaum, president of Sicis North America.
But while the newcomers see a rosy future, some already living and working here are anxious about the changes — something we'll explore next.