Grand Concourse Deals Spur A South Bronx Turnaround

The Grand Concourse in the South Bronx, long an emblem of urban decay in New York City, has reportedly started experiencing something of a  resurgence in recent years.

The wide avenue, modeled on the Champs-Elysees of Paris, is lined with many spacious art-deco apartment buildings — reminders of the Concourse’s prosperous past — that are starting to attract the interest of a new wave of young professionals, the New York Times reported.

The Times reported that, based on the 2010 census, the area’s population of non-Hispanic whites increased by 17.5 percent. It was the first time in 40 years that the white population did not decrease.

As crime rates in the area have dropped sharply and prices elsewhere in the city have climbed steadily, neighborhoods like the Grand Concourse area are bound to draw more attention. But the Concourse in particular offers a special mix of amenities like Yankee stadium, classic architecture, and low prices. Co-ops for under $300,000 are the norm, and a stretch of the avenue was recently designated a historic district.

Area schools are still subpar, so there haven’t been many families among those making the move to the South Bronx, but with the new influx of residents, it seems likely that education will improve in the near future.

Some said that traditional neighborhood distinctions like race and religion are not important, and that many people are attracted to the South Bronx because of the diversity of its residents.

And some residents did not accept that the population of whites in a neighborhood is acceptable barometer for the livability of a neighborhood, saying black and Hispanic professionals have been mainstays of the area for decades.

Whatever the case, as prices in Manhattan and surrounding boroughs flirt with all-time highs, deal hungry buyers of all kinds are more willing to look at areas once thought to be troubled. Brokers should familiarize themselves with up-and-coming parts of the city like the South Bronx. It could mean the difference between putting together a great deal, or standing on the sidelines while someone else does it.