HUNTS POINT - The Bronx borough president and a City Council member Thursday joined forced at Hunts Point's former Bank Note building to tout the importance of redevelopment, while tenants worried that they would be squeezed out.
Taconic Investment Partners and Denham Wolf Real Estate Services recently purchased the 400,000-square-foot industrial building, located at Tiffany Street and Lafayette Avenue, for $32 million.
The developers plan to upgrade lobbies, bathrooms, replace windows and add elevators to the newly landmarked South Bronx building. According to business tenants, the new owners also informed them that rents would double.
Freddy Sepulveda, who has a recording studio in the building, worries that his $500 monthly rent will skyrocket. Tenants have even formed the American Bank Note Artists Coalition to bolster their negotiation efforts.
Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr. and Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo believe the redevelopment will boost the area and create about 1,000 jobs. According to Carrion, the higher rents would still be below market rates.
"You don't set the prices per square foot at Manhattan prices when you're in the Bronx trying to work with the Bronx communities," Carrion said.
The developers are welcoming artists, nonprofit groups and other businesses to rent office space.
Stocks, certificates, postage and other materials were printed in the 100-year-old structure for most of the 20th century.