City Planning Commission approves East Harlem rezoning plan

October 3, 2017

Photo via Wikimedia

The City Planning Commission approved on Monday Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal to rezone East Harlem. With this crucial approval, the plan moves to the City Council for the last stage of the public review process, which began in April (h/t City Limits). The de Blasio administration’s rezoning efforts, run by the city’s Department of City Planning, aim to create affordable housing, create economic opportunities and restore East Harlem’s role as a major transit hub and job center. Over a decade, the plan hopes to create about 122,000-square-feet of stores and restaurants and 275,000-square-feet of office and industrial space.

East Harlem upzoning map via NYC Department of Planning

Closely following the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan designed by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the rezoning proposal caps building heights at 32 stories and includes contextual zoning to make sure new building complement existing ones. Blocks part of the rezoning effort spans between East 104th and 132nd Streets and Park and Second Avenues.

On Monday, the proposal had one absentation and one vote against the proposal. Commissioner Michelle De La Uz opposed the plan because she worries the proposal does not set aside enough housing for low-income families in the area and also does not invest enough in public housing. Commissioner Anna Levin abstained from voting and held concerns about tenant protections. “I don’t feel comfortable voting on the land use matters on the plan without these additional protections in place,” Levin said.

Critics of the redevelopment worry families will be displaced due to expected rising rents. The city disagrees and estimates that the families of 11 apartments will be displaced because of the rezoning.

Sendero Verde development, affordable housing, East Harlem
Rendering of Sendero Verde via Handel Architects

In May, the city revealed plans to create or preserve thousands of affordable housing units in the neighborhood. As 6sqft previously reported, the country’s soon-to-be largest passive house is coming to East Harlem. The massive, mixed-use development, Sendero Verde, will bring 655 affordable rentals to the block bound by East 111th and 112th Streets and Park and Madison Avenues. Designed by Handel Architects, the 751,000-square-foot project will feature residence, school, supermarket community gardens and a multi-layered courtyard.

Read the Department of City Planning’s full East Harlem rezoning proposal here.

[City Limits]


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