Harlem

Harlem, Policy

lenox terrace, rezoning, harlem

Aerial view of the project; Credit: Davis Brody Bond

A developer’s plan to rezone a neighborhood in Central Harlem to make way for a mixed-use development hit another roadblock this week. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer on Monday rejected a rezoning application filed by the Olnick Organization to construct five 28-story luxury towers and one mid-rise building located at the existing Lenox Terrace complex. In her recommendation, Brewer said the project lacks the “public and private investments necessary to make it a prudent exercise of planning for future growth.”

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Harlem, New Developments, Policy

Site of 600 West 125th Street; Map data © 2019 Google

Columbia University this week filed plans to build a 34-story residential building in Harlem, as the school continues its campus expansion into the neighborhood. According to documents filed with the city’s Department of Buildings, the project at 600 West 125th Street, formerly home to a McDonald’s, would measure just under 400 feet tall and contain 142 apartments. But as Gothamist reported on Wednesday, local residents argue the plan breaks a longstanding promise from the university to redevelop a public school at the site.

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affordable housing, Harlem, housing lotteries

Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

Located in between two of Manhattan’s best green spaces, Morningside Park and Central Park, a new rental has launched a lottery for 32 middle-income apartments. The 13-story building at 251 West 117th Street in Harlem sits behind the former St. Thomas the Apostle Church, which has been restored and converted into a community and performance space. Qualifying New Yorkers earning 130 percent of the area median income can apply for the units, which include $2,357/month studios, $2,526/month one-bedrooms, and $3,044/month two bedrooms.

Do you qualify?

Harlem, Policy

lenox terrace, rezoning, harlem

Aerial view of the developer’s planned updates. Credit: Davis Brody Bond

Manhattan Community Board 10 voted Wednesday night against a developer’s plan that would substantially rezone the Lenox Terrace neighborhood in Central Harlem and pave the way for construction of five new 28-story luxury towers and big-box retail stores. The rezoning application, filed by the Olnick Organization, asked the city to rezone Lenox Terrace from its current residential status to the C6-2 designation found in “the central business district and regional commercial centers,” according to the city’s zoning resolution. The community board’s vote sided with the Lenox Terrace Association of Concerned Tenants (LT-ACT), which opposes the rezoning and has demanded the developer withdraw the application.

More on the resolution this way

Events, Harlem, History

Museum of Food and Drink, African/American: Making the Nation's Table

Exhibition renderings courtesy of the Museum of Food and Drink

Next February the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) will bring together the country’s first exhibition celebrating the countless ways in which African Americans have shaped American cuisine. Curated by Dr. Jessica B. Harris, a leading expert on the foods of the African Diaspora, African/American: Making the Nation’s Table will take place at The Africa Center in Harlem and feature musical selections by Questlove, tastings by Chef Carla Hall, and a restoration of the historic Ebony Magazine Test Kitchen.

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Harlem, History

Mount morris fire watchtower, harlem fire watchtower, renovation, restoration, city landmarks, parks

Photo credit: Daniel Avila / NYC Parks.

The Harlem Fire Watchtower, also known as the Mount Morris Fire Watchtower, is the last structure of its kind in New York City. The 47-foot-tall tower was erected in 1856, the third of 11 fire towers built in Manhattan. Fire watchtowers were discontinued after 1878, but the bell in its tower continued to ring at 9am and noon for years after. The historic cast-iron tower has been restored and reunited with its original surroundings in Marcus Garvey park after having been in storage since 2015.

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Cool Listings, Harlem, Historic Homes

147-149 West 123rd Street, Harlem, churches, church conversions, cool listings

Photo credit: Matt Vacca courtesy of Compass.

New York City’s church conversions always draw interest and curiosity; whether they symbolize tranquility–or just offer a unique setting that often includes stained-glass windows with heavenly light and miles-high cathedral ceilings–they transcend the ordinary. This historic, landmarked Harlem church, built in 1897, is now on the market for $6.25 million. Home to the Greater Metropolitan Baptist Church since 1985, the building is zoned residential, so, according to the listing, it can become a single-family home. Built in the English Gothic style and first dedicated as St. Paul’s German Evangelical Lutheran Church, the house of worship is a reflection of the neighborhood’s many layers of history. The listing calls on “sophisticated buyers and developers” to seize the chance to be responsible for the next chapter in the life of this neighborhood icon.

From 80-foot spires to a classic church basement

Harlem

cultural center, memorial, harlem, harlem african burial ground

Image of 126 Street Bus Depot courtesy of NYCEDC

The city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is now accepting bids for the long-planned redevelopment of the East 126th Street Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bus Depot into a memorial and cultural education center honoring the historic African burial ground found in the early 2000s at the site. In collaboration with the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the EDC has released a request for expressions of interest looking for a non-profit organization to operate the cultural center and outdoor memorial in Harlem.

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Art, Design, Harlem

Renderings by Focus Lighting

Harlem-based architectural lighting firm Focus Lighting has worked on some pretty impressive projects here in NYC, from the Times Square ball to the Waldorf Astoria. But they’re also getting involved in their local community, thinking about how they can transform the Riverside Drive Viaduct–a 50-foot-tall elevated steel roadway that runs from 125th to 135th Streets. As the firm notes, during the day, the structure’s grand arches serve as a picturesque background to the neighborhood and the Hudson River, but at night, they “go completely unlit and unutilized.” Their proposal, called The Arches of Harlem, seeks to incorporate a new programmable lighting composition every three months, each one “inspired by select works of historic artists and emerging local talent.”

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affordable housing, Harlem, housing lotteries

The building is near Central Park’s Conservatory Garden; Photo by Cultivar 413 / Flickr cc

399 affordable units are becoming available at a newly constructed building at 1465 Park Avenue and 128 East 108th Street in East Harlem in the rental building known as The Carolina (formerly Lexington Gardens II). The 15-floor building also contains 4,000 square feet of retail space and 38,000 square feet of community space. A solid collection of amenities includes an on-site superintendent, a fitness center, landscaped courtyards, roof terraces, on-site laundry, bicycle storage and Amazon hub lockers. Qualifying applicants earning 30, 60, and 165 percent of the area median income can apply for units that range from $680/month studios to $3,316/month three-bedrooms. There are also eight project-based Section 8 units for which eligible residents pay 30 percent of income.

Find out how to apply

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