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Melrose is a residential neighborhood in the New York Citymarker borough of the Bronxmarker. It is north of Mott Havenmarker and west of Longwoodmarker, and considered as part of the South Bronx. The neighborhood is part of Bronx Community Board 1. Its boundaries, starting from the north and moving clockwise are: East 161st Street to the north, Prospect Avenue to the east, East 149th Street to the south, and Park Avenue to the west. Melrose Avenue is the primary thoroughfare through Melrose. The southeastern corner of the neighborhood is served by the 2 and 5 line at Jackson Avenuemarker, operating along Westchester Avenue. ZIP codes include 10451, 10455, and 10456. The neighborhood is served by the NYPD's 40th Precinct..


Melrose has a population of 30,000. For decades Melrose has been one of the poorest communities in America. Over half the population lives below the poverty line and receives public assistance (AFDC, Home Relief, Welfare, and Medicaid). Over one third the population resides in units managed by the NYCHA. Melrose has one of the highest concentrations of Puerto Ricans in all of New York City. The vast majority of households are renter occupied. The neighborhood, like the rest of the South Bronx, is plagued by high levels of gang activity, drug use, prostitution, and homelessness.

Morrisania Air Rights project of NYCHA

Land use and terrain

Today Melrose is dominated by public housing complexes of various types, vacant lots, and newly constructed subsidized multi-unit townhomes. Most of the original housing stock which consisted of older multi-unit homes and tenements were structurally damaged by arson and eventually razed by the city. There is one secure detention center located in the community. The neighborhood contains one of the highest concentrations of NYCHA projects in the Bronx. The total land area is less than a square mile. The terrain is somewhat hilly.

The Hub-Third Avenue Business Improvement District

The Hubmarker-Third Avenue BID is a major local retail district located where five roads converge: East 149th Street, Westchester, Willis, Melrose and Third Avenues. Many new Hip-Hop trends can be found here long before they spread to the rest of New York City and the world .

Horizon Juvenile Detention Center

In 1998, the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) opened two secure juvenile detention centers. Characterized by locks on the doors and other hardware designed to restrict the movement of the residents and protect public safety, the facilities were planned with staff input to enhance residents' overall security, while allowing for quality programming. Horizon Juvenile Center, located in the Melrose section of the Bronx, opened on January 18, 1998.


Melrose was once predominantly White non-Hispanic. In the 1960s and 70s arson combined with White flight ravaged the community. Most of the original housing stock which consisted of older multi-unit homes and tenements were structurally damaged by arson and eventually razed by the city.

In 1973, the City of New York dismantled the Third Avenue El train, leaving a large portion of the southwestern Bronx underserved by public transportation. There is a direct correlation with the economic disparity of the neighborhoods adjacent to Third Avenue and the lack of viable subway access. The present options are the MTA's BX55 bus and more recently the Melrosemarker station of the Metro-North Railroad provides transportation into Manhattanmarker. Both options are poor substitutes to the Third Avenue El. The City of New York presently has no plans to replace to Third Avenue El with a new subway line.

Urban renewal

After a wave of arson ravaged the low income communities of New York City throughout the 1970s, most residential structures in Melrose were left seriously damaged or destroyed. The city began to rehabilitate many formally abandoned tenement buildings and designate them low income housing beginning in the late 1970s. Also many subsidized attached multi-unit townhouses and newly constructed apartment buildings have been or are being built on vacant lots across across the neighborhood.


Grupo TACA operates a Bronx-area TACA Satellite at 570 Melrose Avenue.


  • PS 1: Courtlandt (East 152nd St and Courtlandt Av)
  • PS 29: Melrose (East 156th St and Courtlandt Av)
  • PS 157: Grove Hill (East 156th St and Cauldwell Av)
  • MS 162: Lola Rodriguez de Tio (East 149th St and St. Ann's Av)
  • William Lloyd Garrison PS/MS.31x: (250 East and 156 street)
  • Alfred Smith High School (East 151st St and Courtlandt Av)
  • South Bronx High School Campus (St. Ann's Av north of Westchester Av)



  • Melrose was the site of the fictional South Bronx Law Center on the TV series The Sopranos. Meadow Soprano volunteered at the law center, supposedly located at East 161st Street and Brook Avenue, a few blocks east of Yankee Stadiummarker.
  • Melrose is considered part of the socioeconomic South Bronx.


  1. 40th Precinct, NYPD.
  2. Bronx Community District 1
  3. " TACA Offices." Grupo TACA. Retrieved on January 27, 2009.

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