Wednesday, February 19, 2014

City Moves Forward on Huge $700M East Harlem Redevelopment

The $700 million East Harlem Media, Entertainment and Cultural Center is a 1.7 million square foot project that is expected to include affordable housing, retail and cultural space and create at least 4,000 construction jobs  and 1,500 permanent jobs. The city recently launched eminent domain proceedings for predominantly vacant parcels on the six-acre redevelopment site in East Harlem. Construction on the long delayed mixed-use development may be possible by early next year.

The development, to be known as the East Harlem Media, Entertainment and Cultural Center, will include 30,000 square feet of dedicated community and cultural space, more than 600 affordable housing units, a public plaza, new office and retail space, and a hotel.

The $700 million project will create 1,500 permanent jobs and 4,000 construction jobs.

Construction of the entire development will be a multi-phase process with a target completion date of 2018.

Features of the development include:

  • 30,000 square feet of cultural space celebrating East Harlem’s unique and diverse cultural heritage;
  • More than 800 total housing units, 600 of which will be affordable to individuals or families with moderate or middle incomes;
  • A mid-block public plaza;
  • 50,000 square feet of retail space reserved for locally-owned businesses at below market rents;
  • 250,000 square feet of class A office space;
  • A 98,000-square-foot hotel; and,
  • A $10 million local investment fund to assist small businesses and entrepreneurs that locate in the new development.

The city's Planning Commission approved the acquisition of the property via the use of eminent domain in August 2008 with the goal of building the $700 million East Harlem Media, Entertainment and Cultural Center.

The 1.7 million-square-foot project will include affordable housing, retail and cultural space, and create at least 1,500 permanent jobs.

Previous developers have had struggles, with developer General Growth having gone bankrupt, and its development partner being acquired by another company in late 2012.

The delay left the land in limbo with rising property taxes but sapped the owners' ability to sell, develop or mortgage their land because of a blight designation, necessary for any eminent domain process.

The city would have lost the right to use eminent domain in the area on Feb. 16 without starting the proceedings, which they did on Feb. 12.

Visit Our Sponsors

Page Views
Since October 1, 2011