Developers behind Harlem’s One45 withdraw plan after opposition from local council member

June 1, 2022

Rendering courtesy of SHoP Architects

A proposal to bring two new residential towers with hundreds of affordable housing units to a largely vacant lot in Harlem was scrapped by developers this week. Late on Monday, the developer withdrew the project, known as One45, a few hours before it was set to be voted on by a City Council committee, as Patch first reported. The plan involved two mixed-use towers on the corner of West 145th Street and Lenox Avenue with a total of 915 apartments. The proposal faced fierce opposition from local Council Member Kristin Richardson Jordan, who argued that the new development would displace Harlem’s Black residents and contribute to gentrification. Without the zoning changes needed to build One45, the developers could construct a condo building with no affordable housing, a self-storage facility, and a community facility.

Developed by Bruce Teitelbaum and partners, One45 included 915 apartments within two 363-foot-tall towers. The initial proposal included plans for a civil rights museum situated between the two towers, a new home for the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, housing, retail space, and office space.

Sharpton withdrew his support for the museum last month and it was dropped from the plan. Last month, Sharpton announced he would look for another location for the museum, deeming the Harlem development to be “inadequate” grounds to build the museum. In his letter, Sharpton encouraged One45’s developers to put more affordable and senior housing in the space where the museum would’ve been, according to The City.

In February 2022, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine took issue with the development’s lack of below-market-rate housing, recommending that the developers make half of the planned units affordable, according to Patch. One45’s developers adhered to the request and guaranteed that half of the property’s 915 apartments would be affordable.

However, the income levels to which the apartments were secured did not satisfy Richardson Jordan, who said that in order to win her support at least “57 percent of the project’s apartments needed to be listed at 30 percent” of the area median income. If not, the council member said the units would be unaffordable to many of Harlem’s low-income residents.

Richardson Jordan also said the apartment configurations did not suit the majority of Harlem’s residents, many of whom live in large households with extended family members.

Richardson Jordan tweeted: “Other negatives include there are 70% studios and one bedrooms when our community is over 60% families, only 25% of the 915 units will be for current CB10 residents and it is 36 stories in height, 100 feet taller than nearby Esplanade Gardens.”

Levine similarly touched on the development’s abundance of studio apartments, stating that the units should instead be “family-sized,” and affordable for local residents. Levine on Tuesday expressed disappointment upon hearing of the project’s demise, considering his wishes of having half of the units be guaranteed affordable were reached, according to Gothamist.

“There were still significant outstanding questions about the One45 proposal, but the final iteration met the most important condition my office had laid out, which was that at least 50% of the units be affordable, including at extremely low-income targets,” Levine said. “The desperate need for additional affordable housing in Harlem, and citywide, is getting ever more acute.”

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Tags: One45
Location: Harlem

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  1. J

    This is what Harlem has been needing. Low income, family sized / senior units need to take priority over high income housing. Studio apartments aren’t realistically going to help get families off the streets.