Real EstateCity LivingBronx Grand Concourse: Yankee Stadium, Bronx Museum of the Arts and more things to do and see By NOELANI MONTERO / Special to amNewYork Updated October 22, 2015 4:13 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email Often termed the epicenter of the South Bronx, locals describe Grand Concourse as a bustling community packed with fun things to do and pretty places to live. The Grand Concourse, the nabe's namesake, was designed by the French railroad engineer Louis Risse, who modeled it after the Champs-Élysées in Paris. It opened to traffic in 1909 and now runs from East 138th Street up to the Mosholu Parkway. Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote The neighborhood is known for its art deco apartment buildings that linger from the area's boom in the roaring '20s. Over the years, famous Americans like Babe Ruth, Lauren Bacall and David Halberstam have lived in Grand Concourse. Bronx historian Lloyd Ultan, 77, has been studying the borough for 20 years and calls Grand Concourse "a little bit of Park Avenue in the Bronx." Its digs are spacious, he said, designed to attract wealthy New Yorkers in the 1920s. Increasing its lure to new residents, the area offers a 35-minute commute to midtown. Today, one-bedrooms rent for around $1,350, and sell for about $115,000 to $250,000, according to Chyann Sapp, a real estate agent with Citi Habitats. Two-beds rent for about $1,650 and sell for $185,000 to 250,000, she said. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Rich Schultz "[Grand Concourse] is definitely an area that people are attracted to," she said. "I find that people like the Yankee Stadium area because it’s convenient. You’re only two stops away from the city." With Yankee Stadium, several parks and the Bronx Museum of the Arts within its borders, there's plenty to do for fun in Grand Concourse. The borough's court system is also centralized here. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Don Emmert Michelle Rivera, 26, has lived in the area for most of her life and says that living in Grand Concourse has tons of benefits. Rivera is currently studying to become a paralegal and appreciates the short walk from her home to the courthouse. "I love having the courts so close by. I like to sit in on hearings," she said. Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote For those who love their city parks, Grand Concourse is home to the iconic Joyce Kilmer Park and its Heinrich Heine Fountain (aka the Lorelei Fountain), constructed in the late 19th century. The park is small, but offers beautiful views of Yankee Stadium and The Bronx Supreme Court. Nearby is the Franz Sigel Park, which is loaded with trees and has a baseball field, a playground and a dog run. Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote "This neighborhood has seen resurgence in the last few years," said José Rodriguez, district manager for the local Community Board 4. "It's a great place to live and work." Rodriguez said Grand Concourse is becoming more diverse, and specifically noted its growing West African population. The range of cultures gives Grand Concourse character, he said. Beautification projects are also happening in the neighborhood, he added. "My favorite thing about the Grand Concourse is definitely the architecture, transportation, safety improvements and also the people," he said. Finding Grand Concourse Photo Credit: Google Maps Grand Concourse runs from East 149th Street to East 174th between the Harlem River and Jerome Avenue to the west and Park and Webster avenues to the east. The basics Photo Credit: Getty Images Transportation Trains: 2 and 5 to 149th Street/Grand Concourse and Third Ave./149th Street 4 to 149th Street/Grand Concourse, 161st Street/Yankee Stadium, 167th Street and 170th Street B, D to 161st Street/Yankee Stadium, 167th Street and 170th Street Buses: Bx1, Bx2, Bx3,Bx6,Bx11,Bx13,Bx18, Bx19,Bx32, Bx35,Bx41 Post Office: USPS, 901 Gerard Ave. and 558 Grand Concourse Library: NYPL Grand Concourse, 155 E. 173rd St. NYPL Melrose, 910 Morris Ave. Crime: Concourse is covered by the 44th Precinct at 2 E. 169th St. In the week of Oct. 5-11, one rape, 13 robberies and two burglaries were recorded in its CompStat report. The precinct reported 10 murders and 24 rapes so far in 2015 as of Oct. 11. Grand Concourse Real Estate Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote To rent 860 Grand Concourse #3I Two beds, one bath; $2,200 per month 185 E. 162nd St. #5G One bed, one bath; $1,500 per month 1692 Grand Concourse #32 Two beds, one bath; $1,560 per month To buy 1020 Grand Concourse #18P Two beds, one bath; $299,000 860 Grand Concourse #4D One bed, one bath; $170,000 825 Walton Ave. #5G One bed, one bath; $199,000 2015 Grand concourse market data as of October 19: Median sales price: $172,500 Number of units on market: 263 Median rental price: $1,483 Number of rentals on market: 170 Where to eat in Grand Concourse Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote -- Sam's Soul Food Restaurant Bar and Lounge, 598 Grand Concourse This comfy restaurant serves classic soul food dishes like smothered pork chops and yams. They also cater and serve drinks. Samssoulfood.com -- Giovanni, 579 Grand Concourse Order wine or cocktails to go with your pastas and pizzas. Giovanninyc.com -- CityView Diner Restaurant: 901 Sheridan Ave. Right by the Bronx Criminal Court, this diner has breakfast and lunch staples for anyone on a lunch break. Prices are great and so is the bacon. 718-588-0550 To do Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote -- Mullaly Park, Jerome Avenue and 164th Street Families and nature lovers living in Grand Concourse enjoy sunny days at this local park. It's small, but the space has basketball courts, a skate park, a playground and a pool. Nycgovparks.org -- Yankee Stadium, 1 E. 161st St. A New York classic -- even if you're not a baseball fan, the new stadium is famous for fun games. It also has restaurants, a museum and a gift ship. Mlb.com -- The Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse. This cultural institution makes art accessible to Bronx residents with its free entry. Bronxmuseum.org Where to party in Grand Concourse Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote Vega Alta Sports Bar, 880 Gerard Ave, The perfect spot to grab a drink before catching a Yankee game. 718-992-2445 Yankee Tavern, 72 E. 161st St. A local favorite: Whether or not it's a game day, residents and visitors love to stop in for a drink at this laid back spot. 718-292-6130 Billy's Sports Bar, 856 River Ave. Another hotspot for Yankee fans that's great for a beer and a burger. Billyssportsbar-hub.com To shop Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote -- Concourse Plaza, East 161st Street between Concourse Village east and west Amidst all the neighborhood action, this shopping plaza has a movie theater, a supermarket and Payless. -- Bronx Borough Hall Greenmarket, 161st Street and Grand Concourse This small produce market is open every Tuesday from 8-4 p.m. until Nov. 24. It's a city-run effort to get New Yorkers to put more fruits and veggies in their diet. Grownyc.org -- Thriftland USA, 110 E. 153rd St. Residents on a budget can find what they need at this thrift and consignment shop. 718-292-8798 The buzz: Cyclists gear up for the Tour de Bronx Photo Credit: Scott Murphy via Flickr Cyclists across the city are gearing up for the 21st annual Tour de Bronx, which starts in Grand Concourse, on Oct. 25. Thousands of bike enthusiasts will ride through the borough during the tour, presented by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Transportation Alternatives, and is produced by the Bronx Tourism Council. With 6,000 riders per year, it is the largest free bike event in New York State. "Tour de Bronx is a great event for people of all ages, especially for visitors to our vibrant borough," Diaz Jr. said in a statement. "It gives everyone an opportunity to explore historical sites, see beautiful waterfronts, and ride through our amazing local neighborhoods." Cyclists will meet in front of the Bronx County Building at 851 Grand Concourse at 9 a.m. They can choose between either a 25-mile or a 40-mile ride. Both end at the New York Botanical Garden and will be followed by a happy hour at the Bronx Beer Hall. For more information on Tour de Bronx or to register, visit bikenyc.org/tourdebronx. Q&A with Michelle Rivera: Lifelong Grand Concourse resident Photo Credit: Michelle Rivera Michelle Rivera has lived in Grand Concourse for most of her life and says her childhood in the area was one to remember. Rivera, who is currently studying to be a paralegal, and her husband Christopher, 25, live with her parents and 8-month-old son, Christopher Jr. Her grandmother moved into their 1925 apartment in 1985. Four generations of her family have lived in the neighborhood and they plan to stay. What do you love about Grand Concourse? The trains are so close. I can get to anywhere in the city because they're so central. What’s the best memory you have from growing up here? I would have to say the ice cream truck and playing in the snow during the winter. When Mr. Softee or the coquito [Spanish ices] man came, my siblings and I would just light up. Why do you want to raise your son here? [To show] him where I grew up and show him what I did as a kid. That and the [schools are] very good here. Knowing that he can go to the same school I went to is pretty neat -- a lot of my teachers are still there. Do you mind living in such a busy area? Yankee Stadium creates a lot of traffic and we don't have much parking -- that's the only downside. When it gets too crowded around here no one wants to go out. What do you think Concourse will be like in 10 years? More cultures, there would be more diversity. Because the rent is so high in Manhattan and the other boroughs, more people are moving to Concourse. I can see it being overcrowded. It's nice to see the differences though. When my mom moved here there were all Jewish people. It's nice to see the changes as you get older. By NOELANI MONTERO / Special to amNewYork Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.