Port Morris is the southernmost neighborhood of the Bronx. Bordered by the East River and Bruckner Expressway, this U-shaped enclave is predominantly made up of industrial landscape.
In amongst the red brick factories and abandoned warehouses are a handful of residential buildings; more and more are being converted each year.
Established in 1842, Port Morris was named after Gouverneur Morris Jr. who established a seaport in the area. Back then there was a railroad running from Melrose to the waterfront in Port Morris but it has since been abandoned. Throughout the latter half of the 19th century, scores of warehouses and factories were erected in Port Morris, quickly transforming the neighborhood into a busy industrial center. This era came to an end in the 1970s when many of the tenants up and left. As a result, the area succumbed to several decades of poverty of crime. But fortunately things in Port Morris have started to look up in recent years. The neighborhood is undergoing huge transformation with a variety of developments taking place.
Many old warehouses are being turned into affordable housing for low to middle income families. Young talented designers and creative types are gravitating to the area, lured by the cheap rents. And much to the excitement of south Bronx residents who are fed up with always having to travel to Manhattan for a good feed, there’s been a recent burst of hip new restaurants and bars in the area. Now on offer are cuisines never before seen in the area such as Asian fusion, Ecuadorian, contemporary American – there’s even a South Beach themed club where diners can move onto after dinner.
With big names like FreshDirect and Bronx Brewery moving to the area, we’re likely to see more and more people flocking to this up and coming neighborhood in the coming years. What’s traditionally been a very low-density neighborhood is quickly becoming a popular spot for Bronx locals who want to be closer to the city and for Manhattan folk looking to get away from the big smoke. Given the thriving restaurant scene, great waterfront views and close proximity to the city, who could blame them?
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