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Harlem

Statue of Dr. J. Marion Sims in Central Park. Image: Wikimedia Commons.

New York City’s Public Design Commission voted unanimously Monday in favor of removing a statue of 19th century surgeon J. Marion Sims from its Central Park pedestal, the New York Times reports. It was recommended that the statue of the controversial doctor, who conducted experimental surgeries on female slaves without their consent (and without anesthesia), be removed from its spot at 103rd Street in East Harlem after Mayor Bill de Blasio asked for a review of “symbols of hate” on city property eight months ago. 6sqft previously reported on the request by Manhattan Community Board 11 to remove the East Harlem statue of Sims, who is regarded as the father of modern gynecology. The statue, which will be moved to Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery where the doctor is buried, represents the city’s first decision to make changes to a prominent monument since the review.

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affordable housing, Harlem, housing lotteries

Rendering via MAP Architects

A brand new East Harlem mixed-use development, known as Acacia Gardens, now has 124 middle- income apartments up for grabs. The 12-story brick building at 411 East 120th Street, the site of a former parking lot, includes over 180,000 square feet of residential space. Qualifying New Yorkers earning 60 and 100 percent of the area median income can apply for units ranging from an $822/month studio to a $1,706/month three-bedroom.

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Harlem, Landmarks Preservation Commission

Photos via LPC

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) on Tuesday officially designated three East Harlem buildings as individual landmarks, marking them as some of the neighborhood’s most culturally significant structures. The landmarks include a former 19th-century meatpacking house and two former public schools. The LPC chair, Meenakshi Srinivasan, said the buildings were designated for their architectural and cultural significance. “They embody East Harlem’s unique development history and recognize the civic institutions and businesses that helped shape the lives of the neighborhood’s immigrant groups,” Srinivasan said in a statement.

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affordable housing, Policy

bill de blasio, housing new york 2.0, affordable housing

Image: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

An announcement Tuesday by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) gave lower-income New Yorkers lots to look forward to–literally. HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer announced that nine development teams would be creating 490 affordable apartments and homeownership opportunities on 87 vacant lots through the department’s New Infill Homeownership Opportunities Program (NIHOP) and Neighborhood Construction Program (NCP). The programs were designed specifically to unlock the potential of vacant lots long considered too small or irregular for traditional housing with innovative smaller homes, and develop more affordable housing on lots long used for parking at existing housing complexes. This latest round of development is the third and final in a series: The program has already seen the construction of over 600 affordable homes on 81 lots.

‘No site has gone overlooked’

affordable housing, Harlem, housing lotteries

Despite the city’s recent rezoning efforts to make East Harlem more affordable, it seems as though the latest batch of lotteries are anything but. Last month, a middle-income lottery came online for 111 East 115th Street, where some of the “affordable” apartments were actually more expensive than the market-rate units. As of today, New Yorkers earning 130 percent of the area median income can apply for five one-bedroom apartments at the new rental 1992 Third Avenue, just off 110th Street. The units are reserved for one- and two-person households earning between $77,246 and $99,320 annually and are renting for $2,253/month–not much less than the neighborhood’s $2,392/month average for one-bedrooms.

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affordable housing, Harlem, housing lotteries

1955 First Avenue, image via Aspen Management Office

An East Harlem building, dubbed the Aspen, is currently accepting applications for low-income studio and one-bedroom apartments and will also replenish its waitlist. Designed by Costas Kondylis and Magnusson Architecture and Planning, the building, located at 1955 First Avenue, rises seven stories and features 232 apartments. Qualifying New Yorkers earning between $22,903 and $26,720 can apply for $613/month studios, and those earning between $25,549 and $30,560 are eligible for $659/month one-bedrooms.

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affordable housing, Harlem, housing lotteries

East Harlem, El Barrio

Photo of East Harlem’s 116th Street via Wikimedia

A brand new residential building at 245 East 115th Street in Manhattan’s East Harlem neighborhood is currently accepting applications for four middle-income one-bedroom apartments. The eight-story building sits just one block from 116th Street, the business hub of Spanish Harlem that features lots of restaurants and shops. Qualifying New Yorkers earning 130 percent of the area median income can apply for the one-bedroom apartments for $2,270/month.

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affordable housing, Harlem, housing lotteries

111 East 115th Street, 109 East 115th Street, East Harlem rentals, HTO Architects

View of 111 East 115th Street wrapping up construction in August, via CityRealty

In most cases, the city’s affordable housing lotteries provide an opportunity to live in market rate-level apartments for a lower price. But at the new East Harlem rental building at 111 East 115th Street, the middle-income units provide minimal financial relief, and in some cases are even more expensive than the market-rate units. The general listings include $2,025/month studios, $2,300 one-bedrooms, and $3,100 two-bedrooms, while the “affordable” offerings for those earning 130 percent of the area median income start at $2,099/month studios and go up to $2,253 one-bedrooms and $2,716 two-bedrooms.

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affordable housing, Harlem, Major Developments, New Developments, Policy

321 East 96th Street, Perkins Eastman Architects, AvalonBay Communities, East Harlem development

Rendering of 321 East 96th Street via Perkins Eastman Architect

Located on Second Avenue between East 96th Street and East 97th Street, the Marx Brothers Playground boasts a jungle gym and ball fields spread out over 1.5 acres. The East Harlem green space, which first opened in 1947 on land formerly occupied by the car barn of the Second Avenue Railway, has found itself at the center of a debate between preservationists and developers. As the New York Times reported, park advocates and city officials disagree on whether the parcel is considered a park or a playground. If it’s a park, any plans to modify it require the approval from the State Legislature and the governor; playgrounds do not. While it seems irrelevant, the categorization of the land will determine whether a 68-story mixed-use tower will rise on its site, a project backed by city officials and affordable housing advocates.

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affordable housing, Harlem, housing lotteries

Riverton Houses, via NYC Housing Partnership

East Harlem’s Riverton Square complex is once again accepting applications for its 7,500-name waitlist for one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. The affordable seven-building development, built by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, first opened in 1947 for World War II veterans, later becoming a coveted address for middle-class families. After it was sold to A&E Real Estate for $201 million in 2016, the city mandated that 975 of its 1,229 units be reserved for working- and middle-class families for 30 years. The waitlist opens tomorrow, with apartments set aside for New Yorkers earning 110 percent of the area median income. Units range from a $1,968/month one-bedrooms to $2,729/month three-bedrooms.

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