More and more developers are building in the Bronx, and as borough reporter Erin Clarke tells us, that means the borough is getting amenities it didn't have before.
The Mall at Bay Plaza opened two years ago, adding Macy's and a number of big box stores to an already popular retail area.
On the opposite side of Interstate 95, across the street from a smaller shopping center — a new retail complex will be built along Gun Hill Road on this 12-acre property now owned by the MTA, where a golf driving range was once operated.
"The project is very pedestrian focused, very different than what currently exists in the area," said Drew Greenwald with Grid Properties.
It will be called Baychester Square. A two-story, $200 million, 350,000 square-foot development. It will have at least 40 stores, 1,200 free parking spaces and lots of open space.
Grid Properties' Greenwald says the idea is to make Baychester Square a walkable environment, much like shopping plazas in nearby Westchester County.
"We're creating kind of an urban environment by creating five smaller city blocks that will have retail on all four sides," Greenwald said. "With more than an acre plus of outdoor space, fountains, trees, seating, outdoor cafes."
Baychester Square will also include a business resources center to connect local entrepreneurs to larger companies and 180 units of affordable housing for seniors.
Greenwald says the mall at Bay Plaza is a great addition to the area, but there's still room for more.
"It just brings more people who recognize it as a destination," Greenwald said.
But traffic congestion already is a worry for some residents of nearby Co-Op City. The sprawling apartment complex that 50,000 people call home. Baychester Square promises to bring even more cars to the area.
Greenwald downplays those concerns, saying visitors to Baychester Square will not be using local streets in Co-Op City, and that the complex will have several access points along Gun Hill Road.
If all goes as planned Baychester Square will open in time for Christmas 2019.