For a long time, the Bronx was that borough in New York City where people only lived if they had to. Mott Haven is a neighborhood in the center of the Bronx that was once thought of as a wasteland. According to the New York Times, Mott Haven had 70 murders in 1993 and the entire area was considered by many to be an unsafe place to live.
Times Are Changing In Mott Haven
It was not that long ago that property values in Mott Haven were some of the worst in New York City. Today, properties in the neighborhood are selling for between $240,000 to $1 million for multi-family homes. Property owners are able to get the going retail rate for rents, which was around $2,400 for a three-bedroom apartment in 2015.
Developers are starting to put money into fixing up Mott Haven properties, and that is starting to attract new tenants. It was reported that 2012 was the first year in a very long time where more people came into Mott Haven than left. The City-Data website reports that the population of Mott Haven in 2015 to be 68,074, which is a population increase compared to recent years. New businesses, mostly restaurants, are also moving into the neighborhood to accommodate the growing population.
Still Some Way To Go
Mott Haven used to be known for its wide range of piano manufacturing companies. Over the years, all of the original piano manufacturing companies have left, but their buildings are being re-purposed into restaurants and apartments. The one piano company that does call Mott Haven home established itself in the 1980s, and it is still going strong.
But as positive as all of this has been for Mott Haven, there are still challenges the neighborhood will need to overcome. It is estimated that four our of every 10 families in Mott Haven live in poverty. While the developers build their new and expensive apartments, they are looking outside of Mott Haven for residents.
Another issue for Mott Haven is that the development is not keeping up with the demand. Apartments for sale are scarce, so investors are forced to buy multi-family homes and rent out the other units. While there are some investors willing to take up that offer, it is a problem that has forced developers to turn some potential investors away.
The Signs Of Progress
Mott Haven used to be considered an extremely dangerous neighborhood that was unfit for children and families. However, DNAinfo.com reports that the crime drop numbers in Mott Haven are staggering. Overall crime has dropped 72 percent from 1993 to 2010, with the drop in murders leading the way at 80 percent. There has been a 73 percent drop in shootings, and an 85 percent decline in the number of burglaries. As more responsible homeowners move into Mott Haven, it looks like the crime is leaving the neighborhood.
Is this the kind of growth that Mott Haven can sustain? For now, several developers plan on investing more money in fixing up old buildings and turning them into high-priced apartments. The people of the neighborhood are banding together to try and help with the poverty issue, and the schools are also getting overhauled.
The hope is that the growth of the area and the continued action of building neighborhoods will start attracting people from all over the area to live in Mott Haven. It has been happening so far, and there is no reason to suspect it will stop. The new and old residents of Mott Haven have hope for the future, and that is with very good reason.