January 2015

Investment Sales: The Bronx - A solid long-term investment

The Bronx is a borough full of opportunity. Investors forget that the Bronx was a very desirable place to live in the early 1900s. In fact, the Grand Concourse, a wide tree-lined boulevard was once the "Park Avenue of the middle class." One just has to drive up and down the Grand Concourse to be reminded of the Art Deco and Art Moderne architecture. Many of these buildings boast grand lobbies with ornate details, courtyards and large windows. Sprawling apartment layouts offer investors upside from rental appreciation with low current average monthly rents in the $900 - $1,200 range.


While the Bronx experienced a big roller coaster ride down in the 1960s and 1970s, it started to come back slowly in the 1980s and 1990s. And over the past several years, there are many projects that have contributed to the Bronx's development and gentrification including: the Mall at Bay Plaza (near Co-op City), the Riverdale Crossing Shopping Center (former Stella D'Oro Biscuit Factory) and the Gateway Center Mall (former Bronx Terminal Market). The landmark attractions that bring visitors from all over include the famous Yankee Stadium, the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden. The Kingsbridge Armory, once repositioned, will further add to the borough's appeal. The Bronx is also home to the nationally renowned Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein-Weiler Hospital.


In 2014, I was often approached by investors looking for properties in the Bronx. The party line was always the same: other New York City locations had gotten very expensive and investors needed opportunities where they could add value. One can acquire a multifamily asset there for a 6% cap-rate, which is no longer feasible in Manhattan or Brooklyn. The typical Bronx investment may require more "hands-on" management, but investors can count on stable cash flow over the long term.


Since inception, Besen & Associates has sold over 600 investment properties in The Bronx and we can unequivocally state that savvy investors have not ignored this borough filled with history, tradition and a solid working class.


Shallini Mehra is an associate broker, investment sales at Besen & Associates, New York, N.Y.



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