City Living: Port Morris
Famous for its industrial district of red brick factory buildings and the Harlem Rail Yards, Port Morris is riding a new wave of development.
In 2005 an 11-block mixed use, or commercial and residential, district was established, adding to a separate one that was designated in 1997. The revival has brought converted lofts, affordable apartments and gourmet restaurants, particularly on Bruckner Boulevard, to an area once defined by its industrial nature.
Port Morris, otherwise known as SoBro, is anchored to be the next Red Hook, luring new residents with its luscious waterfront views and its ease of connectivity to Manhattan and the outer boroughs.
Its located at the southernmost tip of The Bronx, where Harlem and the East Rivers separate it from Manhattan. The nabe is a vital thoroughfare, connected to four bridges along with the Major Deegan and Bruckner Expressways bordering it to the north.
Port Morris was established as a seaport in 1842, according to the Historic District Council, by Gouverneur Morris Jr., the son of United States founding father Gouverneur Morris. The waterfront was home to tenants such as stone works, furniture and piano factories. That commercial character is a still visible as nostalgic silhouettes of company names like Kellys Furniture and Baldwin are stamped across the facade of the old factories that house new tenants.
Some current commercial residents to call the nabe home are: FedEx, Waste Management company and The Bronx Brewery.
Others include recent tenants like NY Graphic Studio at 127 Lincoln Ave. Three-month resident Julie Velez, a 28-year-old self-employed clothing designer, said a new lease was just signed to build an artsy coffee shop at 39 Bruckner Blvd., once home to Bronx Hydro & Garden shop. I feel safe, Velez said of why she lives in Port Morris, adding, the streets are quiet at night.
The growing retail community is a welcome sign for locals.
Its a neighborhood in transition, everyone wants the neighborhood to be better, said Michael Brady, owner of The Clock Cafe and Martini Bar at 112 Lincoln Ave. the site of the renovated Estey Piano factory building.
Port Morris roughly 2,000 residents, which though predominantly Puerto Rican now hosts an influx of ethnicities, from white Americans to Mexicans, are benefiting from this change.
6 Lexington Ave. local train stops on 138st at Third, Brook and Cypress avenues along the northern boundary; East 143rd Street-Saint Mary’s Street/ Southern Boulevard, and East 149th Street/ Southern Boulevard More »
Bx 15; Bx 17; Bx 33 More »
The Mott Haven Library, 321 E. 140 St. serves the Port Morris area. More »
Mott Haven Branch, 517 E. 139thSt. services the Port Morris area. More »
Port Morris, “The Gateway to the Bronx,” is covered by the 40th precinct in the South Bronx. Crime statistics compared to this time last year show a 22% decline in murders and an 23% decline in rapes. As reported in the NYPD’s CompStat Report, notwithstanding the fact that nine people were murdered last year, there was an 86% drop in murder compared to 1993. Also compared to 1993, burglaries are down 87%. More »