National Black Theater Tops Off

The new 21-story residential tower and cultural center – aka, The National Black Theater – has topped out at 2031 Fifth Avenue in East Harlem. The base of the building will house the theatre, retail space, and a multipurpose “communal living room” open to the public. The upper levels of the building will house Ray Harlem, a 222-unit rental component.

The cultural center will occupy 27,000 square feet and include a 250-seat performance space, a 99-seat intimate theatre, administrative spaces, classrooms, and a set-building shop to support workforce development in theatrical trades.

This development is using NYC’s Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) bonus, designed by former New York City Council member Inez E. Dickens. The VPA facilitates collaboration between the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Department of City Planning to spur revitalization and cultural growth through rezoning.

Construction broke ground in July 2022 and the building is scheduled to open in late 2024. The theatre is on schedule to open in 2026.

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As seen in Harlem: