The New York Times has a fascinating piece today about a new boutique hotel in a decidedly unlikely location: New York City's rough-and-tumble borough of The Bronx.
The Andrew Freedman, a faded landmark named after the philanthropist who commissioned it, was reinvented in December as an upscale 10-room hotel charging between $130 and $250 for a night’s stay, the article reports, noting that the property has "struggled to draw guests."
But even so, the hotel may be the first in a series of new hotels planned for the Bronx that "seeks to bring Manhattan-style comforts, at lower prices, to a borough that many visitors have historically overlooked — if not avoided."
The Empire Hotel Group, which operates seven boutique hotels in Manhattan, has invested $10 million to transform a historic South Bronx opera house into a 60-room hotel with terrazzo floors and a mezzanine level serving complimentary breakfast and afternoon tea and coffee. Marriott, meanwhile, will open a Bronx outpost next year with a 125-room Residence Inn in a commercial complex under construction in the Pelham Bay area.
The hotels are part of an effort by Bronx residents and officials to bring the borough back to the splendor it enjoyed in decades past, when notable Wall Street families kept their country estates in neighborhoods like Marble Hill. Other enhancements include a new apartment complex in the South Bronx and a Donald Trump golf course in Ferry Point Park.