Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Business Slow? Check Out 125th Street's Development Boom

One street in Manhattan is about to gain 500,000 square feet of new development, and it is not where you may think.

125th Street, often considered Upper Manhattan’s Main Street of sorts, will grow yet again thanks to three construction initiatives, valued at more than $150 million by the New York City Department of City Planning and Economic Development Corporation.
The Bloomberg administration has selected developers to rehabilitate the former Taystee Bakery Complex and the Corn Exchange Building, both located along the 125th Street commercial corridor in Harlem. The two sites have each been vacant for several decades.

The building height gradient for the area has also been increased, allowing new developments to reach up to 290 feet - higher than anywhere else in Upper Manhattan.

NYC Economic Development Corporation selected Janus Partners LLC and Monadnock Construction, Inc. to redevelop the former Taystee Bakery complex into CREATE @ Harlem Green, providing an additional 395,000 square feet of commercial and industrial space. The city also selected 125th Street Equities, LLC to redevelop the Corn Exchange Building, rehabilitate its landmarked base and add six additional floors for office and retail use.

CREATE @ Harlem Green and the Corn Exchange Building restoration, will serve as anchors, to make the 125th Street corridor one of Manhattan’s most important. In doing so, it will serve as a hub for new residential and commercial development as well as a catalyst for the continued growth of Upper Manhattan.

These projects will result in more than 500,000 square feet of new commercial space and create more than 530 permanent jobs, and over 600 construction jobs.  The city expects the projects to generate hundreds of millions of dollars of new economic activity in Harlem.  
CREATE @ Harlem Green:

At Amsterdam Avenue, CREATE @ Harlem Green is a prime example of adaptive reuse, converting what used to be a factory into a mixed-use complex complete with a range of manufacturing, office, and commercial space, topped off with its signature element: a modern green space on its rooftop. As a result, CREATE @ Harlem Green will act as a hub for the western end of the corridor, aided by Columbia University’s burgeoning expansion nearby. 

Janus Partners LLC and Monadnock Construction, Inc. will redevelop the former Taystee Bakery Complex based on their response to a Request for Expressions of Interest NYCEDC released for the site in November 2010.

The $130 million development will include 150,000 square feet of manufacturing space, 130,000 square feet of office space, 100,000 square feet of retail space, and 15,000 square feet of community facility space and will create about 440 permanent jobs and 510 construction jobs.

Several locally based businesses will relocate or expand to CREATE @ Harlem Green. Harlem Brewing Company, which currently brews in Saratoga Springs, will be moving its production facility to CREATE @ Harlem Green and will also grow hops on an open roof, give tours and operate a brewing museum, a tap room and gift shop.

The Corn Exchange Building: 
On the other end of 125th Street, The Corn Exchange Building, located at Park Avenue - next to the 125th Street Metro North train station - will be redeveloped by 125th Street Equities LLC. 125th Street Equities LLC will rehabilitate the historic base of the building and reconstruct an additional six floors to restore the building in a manner that is consistent with its landmark status.

The $20 million development will create about 90 permanent jobs and 80 construction jobs.

Originally built in 1883, the Corn Exchange Building - designed by the firm of Lamb & Rich - received landmark status from the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1993. The building is presently vacant and has been in severe disrepair since the late 1970's. The Corn Exchange Building’s historic exterior will also attract visitors from outside of the neighborhood, bringing with them economic activity. Next to one of only two Metro-North stations in Manhattan, the Corn Exchange Building and its surroundings even have the potential to bring in commuters. 

By Peter Coyne /
August 30, 2011