Harlem church’s rezoning proposal includes new tower and music school, but still no developer

Posted On Wed, August 28, 2019 By

Posted On Wed, August 28, 2019 By In affordable housing, Harlem, New Developments, Policy

Rendering by FXCollaborative

A Harlem church looking to rezone part of Central Park North revealed plans this week to incorporate a music school and cultural center to its proposal for a 33-story residential tower. During a City Planning Commission hearing on Wednesday, La Hermosa Christian Church and FXCollaborative presented their design for the apartment building and the three-story community facility space. Congregants and church officials say the building at 5 West 110th Street is deteriorating, with many of its spaces unusable and inaccessible. “The project that we’re proposing means the survival of our church,” La Hermosa Pastor Dan Feliciano told the commissioners.

la hermosa, harlem, central park north
Rendering by FXCollaborative

In May, the church, considered the oldest Latino church on the East Coast, filed an application with the city to rezone the area to make way for a new 410-foot-tall mixed-use tower with 160 residential units, with about 50 of them affordable. If the city approves the plan, the existing three-story church would be demolished.

Designed by FXCollaborative, the building would include about 38,000 square feet for a community facility run by the church. According to La Hermosa, proceeds from the residential building could be used to create a new house of worship, a music and art school for neighborhood kids, and flexible event spaces.

The community space includes classrooms, a sanctuary space and music hall, and a forum space on the ground level that could feature an art gallery. Free music classes will be run by the Manhattan School of Music and be free to Harlem children.

“From our origins having grown from a settlement house music program on East 105th Street to one of the world’s leading music conservatories, we have always stayed true to our roots and hewed to a firm belief in the importance of access to music education,” James Gandre, the president of the MSM, said in a press release. “We couldn’t be prouder to continue this work with La Hermosa, a historic and newly invigorated Harlem institution.”

There is no developer on the project as of yet, which concerned some of the CPC commissioners. Dan Kaplan, a senior partner at FXCollaborative, said once a developer is selected, they will most likely build both the apartment tower and the community space with the church because the design is so integrated.

Manhattan Community Board 10 voted against the application in June because the project lacked a developer. “Voting for this project is akin to writing a blank check; there are still too many unknowns,” a member of the board said.

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Renderings courtesy of FXCollaborative

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Neighborhoods : Harlem

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