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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 in the heart of a borough that is better known for crippling poverty and crime than tourism. And though it has struggled to draw guests, it is part of a crop of new hotels planned for the Bronx in the next few years 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 is moving into the South Bronx with a $10 million transformation of a historic opera house into a 60-room hotel…Marriott 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 fancy hotels are the most notable example yet in an effort by Bronx officials, community activists and residents to try to turn around their struggling borough, one cornerstone at a time.