600 affordable homes and new Afro-Latin Music and Arts Center coming to East Harlem

August 16, 2021

Rendering of Timbale Terrace courtesy of Lantern Organization, Mega Development, Urban Architectural Initiatives, HPD

Nearly 600 affordable homes and a new performing arts center are planned for two sites in East Harlem, the New York City Department of Housing and Preservation announced Friday. The projects include a 330-unit residential building with a new arts center for the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance and a 250-unit development that will have an expanded East Harlem Multi-Service Center. The projects are among the first major developments under the East Harlem rezoning, which was approved in 2017.

Rendering of the Beacon courtesy of HPD

On the east side of Park Avenue between East 118th and East 119th Streets, the city has selected developers Lantern Organization and Mega Development to transform a former NYPD parking lot into a residential building. Dubbed “Timbale Terrace,” the development will feature 330 affordable homes, with 99 of them set aside for formerly homeless households, and a 16,000-square-foot Afro-Latin Music and Arts Center (ALMA).

The state-of-the-art performing arts center will have practice rooms, community performance spaces, art gallery spaces, recording studios, and retail. According to a press release, the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance will offer free or affordable music education programming and job training, in addition to hosting professional performances.

Residents will have access to a large outdoor space, terraces, a fitness center, and a communal kitchen. On-site social services focused on health and wellness, education, and employment will be available.

“East Harlem is the community that best represents the mission of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, to use music as an entry point for service to the community and to reflect back to that community the beauty and ingenuity of its citizens,” Arturo O’Farrill, founder and artistic director at the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, said. “Partnering with the City of New York, the Lantern Organization and Mega Development is an opportunity to put theory into daily practice.”

At 413 East 120th Street, a new 250-unit residential building will be built at the site of the existing East Harlem Multi-Service Center. Developed by the Community Builders and Ascendant Neighborhood Development, “The Beacon” will feature 75 homes, with roughly a third of them for formerly homeless New Yorkers.

The existing community center will be renovated and expanded, with the original architecture preserved. The bigger center will have a new atrium, space for after-school programs, and a pedestrian path that connects the apartments to the center.

According to the city, a majority of the new homes will be designated for families earning less than $86,000. Of the nearly 600 new apartments, 174 of them are for formerly homeless households.

“These incredible projects are delivering on the City’s commitment to invest in job training, youth, education, and more affordable housing for East Harlem,” HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll said. “They are also proving that affordable housing can be an anchor for the arts and the entire community’s well-being.”

HPD selected the winning proposals following a request for proposals for the two city-run sites in 2019 that involved affordable housing and community services.

In 2017, the City Council approved the East Harlem rezoning, which builds on the community-led East Harlem Neighborhood Plan. Since the rezoning, the city has financed more than 7,500 affordable homes in the neighborhood. Another major affordable project in East Harlem includes Sendero Verde, a 700-unit project set to become the nation’s largest Passive House development upon completion.


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