There’s no doubt the Hamilton Heights Historic District is like a little gem in Harlem. This 5,000-square-foot, five-story townhouse at 329 Convent Avenue boasts gorgeous intricate original woodwork, and a lush backyard. And it’s back on the rental market for $13,000 a month.
Broadway and 146th Street, a typical stretch in West Harlem
You may remember the Harlem Promenade project, which proposed transferring air rights over the Amtrak rail lines in West Harlem to create affordable housing and using the sale of the air rights to pay for $170 million in community improvements in Hamilton Heights, including a High Line-esque park.
We’ve now learned that the project has taken on a new life as the New Broadway Plan, which may be smaller in scope than the original plan, but would be the largest creation of affordable housing in Manhattan since 1959 if fully realized. It would also make a huge dent in Mayor De Blasio’s goal of creating or preserving 200,000 affordable units over ten years. The Plan proposes a rezoning of portions of Broadway from 125th to 155th Streets in order to build 3,000 new units of housing, 50 percent of which will be permanently affordable, and to equalize the amount of new affordable to market rate housing stock, which is currently at a disproportionate ratio of 20 percent to 80 percent, respectively.
Riverbank State Park. Image via Dattner Architects
In a city that moves so fast that the Sunday edition of the New York Times comes out on Saturday, it is not surprising that New Yorkers might overlook some interesting factoids. For instance, New York City is home seven state parks! So, instead of enjoying a day inside other state parks filled with the ubiquitous lush greenery and a plethora of activities that might surely mean a couple of hours of driving—cityside state parks are but a subway ride away or possibly a short walk to the likes of the East River State Park on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, the Clay Pit Ponds State Park in Staten Island and the Roberto Clemente State Park in the Bronx.
One of the most popular, with its grassy stretches of pastoral idyll against a spectacular backdrop, is the 28-acre Riverbank State Park near 143rd Street (seen in the two images above). A multi-level facility set 69 feet above the Hudson River on Riverside Drive, it opened in 1993. What’s more, this park is the only one of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. Inspired by Japan’s urban rooftop designs, it was created on top of a now-odorless sewage treatment facility on the Hudson.
We all know the typical gentrification pattern–artists move in to a neighborhood and make it hip; they’re followed by trendy coffee shops and cool vintage stores; rents rise; the artists move on to the next frontier. But what if the influx of artists to a neighborhood slowed gentrification? It sounds like an impossible premise, but it just might be taking shape in East Harlem.
Fast Co. EXIST takes a look at El Barrio’s Artspace PS109, the project which has transformed an abandoned public school building in East Harlem into 89 units of affordable live/work housing for artists and their families and 10,000 square feet of complementary space for arts organizations. A whopping 53,000 creatives applied to live in the building, where studios will rent for as low as $494/month and two-bedroom units will go for $1,022/month. But isn’t Artspace’s goal to break the gentrification cycle—”to preserve the cultural fabric of a small corner of Manhattan that’s starting to change quickly” by preserving its affordable housing?
14th Street, 23rd Street, 86th Street–there’s no question that these east-west thoroughfares are some of the city’s most bustling corridors of commercial, cultural, and residential activity. And 125th Street in Harlem could now be joining their ranks, a real estate trend dissected in a WSJ article today.
Big-name NYC developers are cashing in on the street’s transformation. Greystone & Co. bought a $11.5 million site through a bankruptcy auction earlier this month, where they’ll put 75 market-rate and affordable apartments, along with ground-floor retail space. Across the street, Continuum Co. will add 700 residential units and 85,000 square feet of retail. Nearby, Wharton Properties has obtained funding for their 33,000-square-foot retail complex that will be anchored by Whole Foods.
This Harlem townhouse on 128th Street may look like a sunny respite now, but back in 2007 when actress Alysia Reiner and her husband David Alan Basche bought it, the building was nothing but an abandoned space with some dusty (but beautiful) brick walls. Armed with MontesBuild Green Street Construction and their vision to turn it into a green home, they maintained the historic home’s original structure, and upgraded to bamboo and natural slate flooring, reclaimed wood, and contemporary furnishings. Click through Inhabitat‘s gallery to see how it came out.
Image by Jill Fehrenbacher and Laura Mordas-Schenkein
Karim Rashid‘s condo at 329 Pleasant Avenue just can’t seem to win. Weeks ago, the designer was forced to scrap the building’s cyan and magenta color scheme for a more subdued palette, and now DNA Info reports that the city has issued a partial stop-work order on the building. The halting of construction comes after the city received complaints from neighbors that their foundations were being damaged by digging and careless workers. But the greatest victim in all of this? How about this Buddha statue which was decapitated by a construction worker.
The success of the High Line Park continues to inspire all corners of the world—including Queens—and now the latest neighborhood to jump on the elevated park bandwagon is Harlem. DNA Info reports a nonprofit called the Housing Partnership has proposed a plan to bring 2,000 affordable housing units and $170 million dedicated to public projects in Hamilton Heights. The new park encompassed within the nonprofit’s ‘Harlem Promenade‘ plan would run alongside the West Side Highway atop a portion of Amtrak rail lines.
According to city records released today, Emmy Award-winning CNN news anchor Don Lemon has purchased a condo in Harlem‘s 2280FDB (2280 Frederick Douglas Blvd.) for $867,780. He already owns the neighboring unit, so this may be an expansion opportunity for the journalist. The newly acquired 859-square-foot, one-bedroom, contemporary unit comes complete with a spacious terrace, boasting impressive city views.
After much outcry, the Karim Rashid-designed residential building at 329 Pleasant Avenue in Harlem will be getting a new color scheme. According to the WSJ, locals have voted to scrap HAP Five‘s color-blocked magenta and turquoise design for a facade of simple white balconies with a less audacious “translucent cirrus with [a] graduated magenta balcony trim”.