Monday, November 23, 2009

What Would You Like to See in the Old Bronx Courthouse?

Photo courtesy of Welcome2Melrose

Welcome2Melrose is looking for some help from Bronx residents. Eddie, the creator of the blog, has been invited to share his opinions with the owner of the Old Bronx Courthouse building as to what might best suit the community within that space. The building will not be sold, but the owner is eager to develop the now vacant structure.

One possible idea being tossed around is to create a Bronx version of the hugely popular Chelsea Market and to lure a Barnes & Noble to become the anchor tenant. As most of you probably know, there's a shocking dearth of bookstores in the BoogieDown, so this could be an interesting option.

Eddie would like to know what you all think, so click on over to Welcome2Melrose, and leave your comments as to what you'd like to see in the Old Bronx Courthouse building.



Anonymous said...

I've always loved this building but and it's a big but. The Location of this Building is it's biggest adversary. Not to mention the wayward parking habits of the local Precinct cops. It would definitely have to be something that is locally sustainable because I do not think that people from other parts of the Bronx would be quick to trek out to this location. As far as I know there are not to many other things around this location to warrant strolling or hanging around, sporadic eateries and shops and the closest train is a hike.

Anonymous said...

Ummmmm...wasn't it supposed to become home to a charter school? That's what the owner told the NYT a few years ago. The NYT followed up, and the school wound up settling into a building near Yankee Stadium instead.

BY the way, when Nos Quedamos wanted to buy the building in the 90s, they estimated that renovations to make it usable would cost upwards of $20 million.

Guywithacause said...

I'd have to disagree 100% (shocker right?) with Anonymous..the location is in fact it's biggest asset (that and its beautiful architecture that is). It is conveniently located on the 2/5 express lines at 149th street (the "hike" that the poster mentions to the train is 12 short blocks), as well as the Melrose Metro-North stop a few blocks away.

The property is also adjacent to new luxury condos, and a huge 1,000,000 sf development (the much ballyhooed Boricua Village) to include a College, substantial mixed-income green housing, parks, retail and commercial space, as well as other parcels that are being developed into mixed income housing (including some $700,000 2 family townhomes).

The property is at the northern border of the historic Hub shopping district, which has a number of major and local retailers, and which recently underwent a very nice facelift including street plantings, new bikes lanes, street planters, medians, and new street lights to complement the evolving district.

In my opinion, this property will be best suited as a mix of specialty retailers, like bookstore/gourmet market/eateries, as well as come space for the community, a portion of which should feature local and nonlocal rotating art/history of the neighborhood. With all the development in and around the community, having such a centrally located, and stoic building with a diverse use means it will attract many kinds of people, and be a central place for the community.

The Mayor of Melrose said...

Well to anonymous#2 since Guywithcause pretty much summed up my feelings towards Anonymous 1's comment.

Mr Weinstein worked for about 2-3 years with the charter school, helped them get the charter, even the blue prints for the school only to have them flake out at the last minute.

According to Mr. Weinstein, the building can be ready within 6-9 months once tenants are secured (and I can attest to that since I was able to see all the work he already has done on the inside)