El Barrio’s Artspace PS109 will Bring Affordable Live/Work Units to Spanish Harlem

With the reconversion of the long-abandoned Public School 109 in the East Harlem section of Manhattan nearing completion, artists and low-income individuals and families looking for affordable housing have until July 14 to send their applications and become eligible for the housing lottery.
El Barrio Artspace PS 109 - East Harlem

El Barrio Artspace PS 109 – East Harlem

With the reconversion of the long-abandoned Public School 109 in the East Harlem section of Manhattan nearing completion, artists and low-income individuals and families looking for affordable housing have until July 14 to send their applications and become eligible for the housing lottery.

The former five-story school sitting at 215 E. 99th Street will soon bring 90 units of live/work space designed primarily for New York City working artists and inhabitants of East Harlem. According to data from PropertyShark, the 116-year-old Gothic Revival-style building was purchased by Artspace in mid-2012 for $1. The Minneapolis-based non-profit developer has created more than 2,000 affordable live/work units for artists and their families nationwide, and the reconversion of 215 E. 99th Street that kicked off in October 2012 is Artspace’s first project in New York City.

Called El Barrio’s Artspace PS109, the project is co-developed by Operation Fightback—also a non-profit, community-based organization founded in 1983 and focused on housing developments and community services in Upper Manhattan and specifically East Harlem, also known as Spanish Harlem or El Barrio. The $52.2 million makeover project was designed by Hamilton Houston Lownie Architects (HHL) and Victor Morales Architects and will serve the community by creating permanently affordable housing in a neighborhood at risk of gentrification.

El Barrio’s Artspace PS109 is scheduled for completion near the end of 2014, according to information from the developer. The renovated building will contain 90 affordable residences ranging from studios to two-bedroom units, with at least 50 percent of the units reserved for working artists and current residents of the neighborhood. According to information from HPD, rents will vary between $494 per month for a studio and $1,022 per month for a two-bedroom. In order to qualify for an apartment, a single occupant must earn less than $35,280, while the maximum income for a family of four was set for $50,340. In addition to the housing units, El Barrio’s Artspace PS109 will include 3,000 square feet of gallery space and around 10,000 square feet of commercial space for arts and cultural organizations of the East Harlem community. Click here for more market data on New York City.

Rendering via HPD