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How Mott Haven Real Estate Listings Show Blurring Neighborhood Boundaries

By Amy Zimmer | July 7, 2016 2:40pm

BRONX — A look at prices of Mott Haven listings currently on the market by real-estate analytics site NeighborhoodX reveals the slippery nature of neighborhood boundaries in real estate listings.


Of the eight listings in the analysis — where the average price per square foot was $292 — half of the properties did not fall within the traditional boundaries of the neighborhood, noted NeighborhoodX co-founder Constantine Valhouli.

For example, the listings at 456 E. 134th St. (a two-family building asking $338,000) and 63 Bruckner Blvd. (a four-story walk-up with four apartments and a storefront asking $1.9 million) are in an area generally considered Port Morris.

The boundary between Port Morris and Mott Haven, however, has been blurring lately, especially as developers have tried to re-brand the wedge-shaped area that includes parts of both neighborhoods as the Piano District, Valhouli noted.

Another listing at, 1015 Summit Ave. — an income-restricted unit studio asking $118,000 — falls within the traditional boundaries of Highbridge. And 527 Tinton Ave. — a freestanding two-family home with a three-car garage asking $399,000 — falls into an area north of Mott Haven and west of Concourse.

“This phenomenon, sometimes called 'neighborhood mitosis', is nothing new,” Valhouli said. “Sometimes a new residential development pushes the boundary of what was considered the neighborhood's edge. In other cases, a burgeoning dining, shopping, and nightlife scene makes everything around it more desirable. And in other cases, brokers and developers are simply trying to leverage the cachet of a more recognized or desirable neighborhood.”

That’s what happened, Valhouli said, with the “terrible” name of “ProCro,” denoting the blurry edges of Prospect Heights and Crown Heights — where listings were really in Crown Heights.

Brokers also were more apt to say some listings were in East Williamsburg before Bushwick had its own currency in the real estate community, he noted.

Along with the uptick in real estate investment, Mott Haven has been attracting new businesses, like Filtered Coffee founded by a duo that has coffee shops in Manhattan. It was also on a list of 15 gentrifying neighborhoods identified by NYU’s Furman Center, which defined gentrification as low-income areas of the city that have seen rapid increases in rent.

Of the four listings that are actually in the traditional Mott Haven boundaries, three of them have prices per square foot that fell above the average, including the most expensive, based on price per square foot. The renovated two-family brownstone built in 1899 at 295 Alexander Ave., listed for $1.2 million — with a price per square foot at $440 — is in the area’s historic district filled with row houses and antique shops.

“This newly renovated building is in the highly desirable Mott Haven neighborhood of the south Bronx,” the listing from Atelier Properties states.

Another indication of the fluctuation of neighborhood names, the real estate search engine Streeteasy,  denotes the eastern part of the neighborhood as a separate area called “North New York," which was its historic name.