For lifelong Bronx resident Leette Eaton-White, the first sign of her neighborhood's transformation came by way of her local supermarket.
It was there on a shelf that the 31-year old college administrator noticed Method, an organic (and relatively pricey) line of cleaning products. "I had only seen them in Manhattan or Westchester previously," White, who lives in the Northern Bronx's Edenwald section, told CNBC recently in an email.
"I instantly thought, 'Oh no, this is the beginning of the end,'" White said. She added that "prices for everything [in the area] have gone up. Even though income hasn't changed much, the cost living gets higher all the time."
The "end" to which White referred could in fact be affordable living in New York City's latest up-and-coming neighborhood.
The Bronx — both famous for being the birthplace of hip-hop music and notorious for its intractably hardscrabble conditions in the 1980s — is in the midst of a revival that's both sparking effusive praise among real estate professionals and stirring dread among working class residents like White, who face the prospect of steepening living costs in one of the city's last bastions of affordable housing.
Until recently, the Bronx was an unlikely candidate for the wave of gentrification that's swept across the city and sent housing prices on a tear. It wasn't that long ago that the South Bronx was all but written off by buyers, renters and owners alike.
Associated with urban blight since at least the 1970s, the area was deeply entrenched in a socioeconomic spiral that it has gradually shed. Now, the Bronx has become the latest avatar of New York City's dizzying pace of revitalization in formerly working-class areas.
Fast forward several decades, and the rough-and-tumble image of the borough — immortalized on screen by cult movies like "The Warriors" and "Escape from the Bronx" — is being redefined by the construction of both affordable and luxury housing alike. Zillow said earlier this year that several Bronx neighborhoods saw double-digit price increases in 2017, even as average prices across the city dipped.
New residences are attracting people who have been priced out of Manhattan and Brooklyn, experts say. Formerly rough neighborhoods like Morrisania, Mott Haven and Port Morris have all seen a jump in housing prices, according to Ralph DiBugnara, senior vice president of Residential Home Funding Corp.
In fact, DiBugnara told CNBC there has been so much revitalization that the South Bronx has even earned a nickname in real estate circles — "SoBro," a title that echoes Manhattan's upscale redoubt of SoHo.