NY Governor Signs off on Harlem Land Transfer

A $270 million project that will bring affordable housing to the New York City neighborhood will move forward, as the state's development agency has taken control of the site on West 125th Street.
West 125th Street Garage. Image courtesy of Google Maps

A long-planned, $270 million redevelopment project that will include affordable housing in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City is poised to move forward, with Governor Andrew Cuomo authorizing the state’s development agency to take control of the site. 

The project will deliver about 170 affordable housing units, along with offices for nonprofit and civic organizations and a museum dedicated to civil rights, on the site of an existing parking garage at West 125th Street. Governor Cuomo signed into law S.4688-A/A.6865-A, which authorizes the transfer of the state-owned land and property to Empire State Development for an amount less than fair market value. 

The legislation was sponsored by state Senator Brian Benjamin and proposed by Assembly Member Inez Dickens. In addition to low-income affordable housing, the project will include the National Urban League Headquarters and Conference Center and the Urban Civil Rights Experience Museum, as well as below-market and rent-free space for local organizations, including One Hundred Black Men Inc. and Jazzmobile.

Plans are still vague

Detailed plans for the project have not been announced, and the governor’s press office was unable to provide more information to Multi-Housing News by the time of publication. The project has been in the works since 2012, when state and city officials issued a request for proposals to foster arts, culture and economic opportunities along the 125th Street corridor in Upper Manhattan. 

The following year, New York State announced that the redevelopment of the underutilized 42,000-square-foot site would be led by the Hudson Cos., BRP Development Corp. and the National Urban League. It is not clear whether the two real estate firms are still involved in the project.

The plot of land at 121 W. 125th St. stretches between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Lenox Avenue. Elsewhere in Harlem, a more than 400-unit mixed-income community from Richman Group Development, Bridges Development Group and Monadnock Development broke ground in April. The project at 201 E. 125th St. will include 300 affordable homes.