Parking Lot to be Transformed into Supportive Housing, Parking Garage, and Afro-Latin Music and ArtsCenter

Real Estate News reports that the parking lot behind the 25th Precinct (between 119/118th Street, on Park Avenue) will be developed for supportive housing for homeless individuals:

The city has unveiled a plan for 600 new apartments along with an Afro-Latin Music and Arts Center  and an upgraded community center in East Harlem.

The project is one of the first major developments since the rezoning of East Harlem rezoning and, according to HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll, delivers on significant commitments in the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan for affordable housing, education, and workforce training investments.

“These incredible projects are delivering on the City’s commitment to invest in job training, youth, education, and more affordable housing for East Harlem. They are also proving that affordable housing can be an anchor for the arts and the entire community’s well-being,” said Carroll.

“I am so proud to announce plans for both the new Afro-Latin Music and Arts Center and renovated multi-service facility that will enhance the community’s quality of life. I want to thank our partners, The Community Builders, Ascendant Neighborhood Development, Mega Contracting, Lantern Organization, and the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance for their creative and thoughtful leadership.”

Mega Contracting, Lantern Organization, The Community Builders and Ascendant Neighborhood Development were selected to build the properties following the East Harlem RFP released in 2019, which sought plans to redevelop two sites that include affordable housing alongside retail and community services.

Located on the east side of Park Avenue between East 118th Street and East 119th Street, the former New York Police Department 25th precinct parking site (pictured top) will be transformed into a residential building with 330 affordable homes, of which 99 homes will be set aside for formerly homeless households.

Mega Contracting and Lantern Organization will build the development, called Timbale Terrace, which will also house a 16,000 s/f Afro-Latin Music and Arts (ALMA) Center, operated by the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA). The facility will include practice rooms, community performance and art gallery spaces, recording studios, and street-facing retail.

In addition to hosting professional musical performances, the community partner ALJA will offer free or affordable music education programming for all ages, job training in the arts, and run an anti-gun initiative through the new center.

The Community Builders and Ascendant Neighborhood Development will develop the second site located at 413 East 120th Street, to be known as The Beacon.

The East Harlem Multi-Service Center site will give rise to an affordable 250-home residential building, of which 75 homes, or 30 percent, will be set aside for formerly homeless households. The new residential building will be constructed at the back of the existing East Harlem Multi-Service Center, which will be rehabilitated and expanded.

The original architecture of the multi-service center will be preserved and include additional space for after-school programming, a new atrium, green space, and the Wagner Walk walk path connecting the residential building to the multi-service facility. The renovated facility will continue to host the nonprofit organizations serving East Harlem.

“East Harlem is the community that best represents the mission of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, to use music as an entry point for service to the community and to reflect back to that community the beauty and ingenuity of its citizens,” said Arturo O’Farrill, Founder, Artistic Director, Afro Latin Jazz Alliance. “Partnering with the City of New York, the Lantern Organization and Mega development is an opportunity to put theory into daily practice. We are honored to lock arms with these partners and serve the people of East Harlem in a manner designed by their needs. Timbale Terrace will be a place that welcomes all!”

“Lantern Organization is thrilled to partner with the City of New York, Mega Development, and the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance to create Timbale Terrace,” said Dan Kent, President/CEO, Lantern. “We are grateful to the East Harlem community members who inspired this project through their advocacy for mixed-income housing, housing for vulnerable populations, and an arts and cultural center dedicated to this incredible neighborhood. We look forward to working with our neighbors to ensure Timbale Terrace achieves these shared goals for East Harlem.”

“Crafting a vision for Timbale Terrace was a labor of love for our team,” said Mega principal Hercules Argyriou. “Throughout our process, we were dedicated to creating a new mixed-use project that would address the needs articulated by the East Harlem community — 100% affordable housing that prioritizes those most in need with an arts and cultural center that celebrates East Harlem’s history and activates the Park Avenue corridor. In partnership with Lantern Organization and the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, we are honored to have the opportunity to realize our vision for this important location.”

“At TCB we pride ourselves on building and sustaining strong communities where all people can thrive,” said Desiree Andrepont, Senior Project Manager at The Community Builders. “It is a privilege to partner with Ascendant Neighborhood Development Corporation and bring together the East Harlem community with this exciting project. The transformation of the Multi Service Center will create a collaborative space to unite neighborhood leaders, local organizations and the greater community, and the development will provide much-needed affordable housing for generations to come.”

“For over thirty years, Ascendant has worked with our partners and allies to preserve, protect, and celebrate the unique history and heritage of East Harlem,” said Chris Cirillo, Executive Director at Ascendant Neighborhood Development Corporation. “We are profoundly grateful to have the opportunity to re-envision the Multi-Service Center as a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive 21st century community hub. We look forward to working with community members, Wagner Houses residents, Multi-Service Center tenants, Community Board 11, Council Member Ayala, and all of the other stakeholders who have helped to shape the vision for this site and the broader neighborhood.”

In 2017, the New York City Council approved the East Harlem rezoning to identify opportunities to create new mixed-income housing and preserve existing affordable housing. The East Harlem Rezoning builds on recommendations of the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan (EHNP), developed through a comprehensive community planning process and led by a committee of local stakeholders including former New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, Manhattan Community Board 11 and Community Voices Heard. After a series of community meetings, the EHNP was issued with 232 recommendations for addressing key neighborhood issues.  In addition to authorizing the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program for East Harlem, the rezoning creates opportunities for economic development while preserving the community’s existing commercial and manufacturing uses

The East Harlem rezoning also prioritizes creating more than 2,600 affordable homes, serving the lowest-earning families by leveraging city subsidies and the transformation of local public-owned sites. Other East Harlem affordable housing projects, include the 100 percent affordable Sendero Verde project, a mixed-use development primarily serving low-income households. Sendero Verde will become the nation’s largest Passive House development, providing more than 700 affordable homes. At least 20 percent of the homes will serve families earning less than $25,000, and 60 percent will serve households earning less than $49,000. In addition, 79 affordable apartments are for seniors. Once completed, Sendero Verde will also feature a community center, a Harlem Children’s Zone charter school, and a community art space.

Additionally, the City announced the East Harlem El Barrio Community Land Trust (EHEBCLT) alongside a $13.2 million project to convert four city-owned buildings into affordable housing under the CLT’s ownership. The EHEBCLT is the first CLT to receive public land, capital financing and startup support from the City in decades. Under the model, a board of tenants, community members, and nonprofit leaders will oversee and operate the development as an affordable rental mutual housing association.

Since the rezoning, the City has financed over 7,500 affordable homes in East Harlem. The zoning changes also support the construction of stations in the next phase of the Second Avenue Subway by planning for needed elevators, station access, and ventilation facilities.

Long Gallery Harlem

Make the time to visit the Long Gallery Harlem (2073 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr Blvd.) before the current (fantastic) show closes on August 14th

(Make sure to check hours and call ahead):

https://www.long.gallery/

INTERIOR DIALOGUE is an exhibition about social perspectives through the lens of the artist’s personal life experience.  The works are engaged in the active centering of the artists’ intersectional identities through the critical lens of decoration and ornament. This work explores how aesthetics often buttress systems of appropriation, oppression, and erasure. Norsworthy asserts that aesthetics are often used as a vehicle to justify the commodification of cultures and, by proxy, communities.

The exhibition is couched within a created environment that interrogates ‘Whiteness.’ The white-box space is defined by Norsworthy’s latest wallpaper work, Blackity (2021), and a series of objects that traverse function, decoration, and art object. The exhibition is held together with six tondos, each depicting an antique European vessel. Images of these ceramic artifacts were sourced from online and estate auctions. The vases are centered in the round space, and each sit atop a surface situated against a highly decorative backdrop.  Although the vases appear to be depictions of beauty and decoration, they function on another level as symbolic representations of the artist. 

The three planes in each tondo (the vase, the surface, and the background) conceptually evoke ways of understanding foregrounding identity within larger conversations of intersectionality. The hierarchy of these planes, vis-a-vis weight and importance, shift between the six tondos; with each acting as a different visual strategy that describes the interplay of object and background. The objecthood of the central object holds power, but is also at the whim of the space within which it is placed. 

For Norsworthy, the process of creating these circular works was an exercise in identity-centered space-making, an idea that pivots the idea of ‘ownership’ from other to self. The titles of the works speak to this contemplation:  The parenthetical titles, Lot #1, Lot #2, etc. play with the idea of commodification, creating a double entendre of the contemporary auction market while also evoking the violent history of the ‘auction block’ and the repercussions from Antebellum America that still reverberate today. 

Governor Cuomo Gives $11,000,000 to Build Supportive Housing for Formerly Incarcerated or Mentally Challenged Homeless Men and Women

Bishop’s House on West 128th Street (east of Lenox) will be demolished and a 9 story building for supportive housing will be built.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the state would provide nearly $11 million in funding toward two new supportive housing developments in Upper Manhattan.

Through the state’s Homeless Housing and Assistance Program, the funding will help provide 71 supportive housing units at Bishop House Apartments in Central Harlem, operated by the nonprofit The Bridge, as well as 56 additional units at the Jericho House in Harlem.

Unlike standard homeless shelter units, supportive housing units primarily serve homeless residents with other issues, from recent incarceration to mental health conditions — offering an array of services designed to provide residents with the necessities to lead stable lives off the streets.

See: https://www.amny.com/news/cuomo-providing-11-million-toward-nyc-supportive-housing-homeless/

And:

New Supportive Housing Projects Coming to East Harlem

Renderings of 244 East 106th St., a proposed development for homeless LGBTQ youth (left), and 107-111 East 123rd St., which would house formerly incarcerated and homeless New Yorkers (right).
Renderings of 244 East 106th St., a proposed development for homeless LGBTQ youth (left), and 107-111 East 123rd St., which would house formerly incarcerated and homeless New Yorkers (right). (Think! Architecture and Design / Curtis + Ginsberg Architects)

Developers unveiled plans this week for a 10-story building housing LGBTQ youth and a 15-story building for formerly incarcerated people.

Story  Nick Garber, Patch StaffVerified Patch Staff Badge
Nov 19, 2020 4:36 pm ET|Updated Nov 19, 2020 6:42 pm ET

Two new supportive housing developments are coming to East Harlem. Supportive housing is more than just an apartment or room, it’s a building that also typically has a manager, social workers, and security. One of the new developments will house LGBTQ youth, and the other will house the formerly incarcerated.

In November, Community Board 11 ‘s Land Use committee heard about the proposed building on East 106th Street at Second Avenue that would serve homeless LGBTQ youth. The second project on 123rd Street and Park Avenue will be reserved mostly for formerly incarcerated people.

Both projects will need to be approved by the City Council via ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Process). During this phase, elected officials, residents of CB11, and the community board will get to provide feedback before the City Council has the final say.

The LGBTQ youth project will be located at 244 East 106th Street – currentlya vacant lot.  Ascendant, a Harlem affordable housing developer, is seeking to construct a 10-story, 36-unit building.

The proposed buildings are for 244 East 106th St. (left) and 107-111 East 123rd St. (Google Maps)

It will be run by the nonprofit Ali Fourney Center, the nation’s largest organization devoted to LGBTQ homeless youths. The building would include 5 total apartments, each containing between four and eight private bedrooms.

A rendering of one of the apartments 244 East 106th St., a proposed development for LGBTQ youth. (Think! Architecture and Design)

Members of CB11’s land use committee reacted warmly to the project, which would break ground by 2023 at earliest and does not require any changes to the zoning code.

“I love that East Harlem is the type of place where people feel welcome and would want to live and be supported by members of the community,” member Jessica Morris said.

“Castle III” – 107-111 East 123rd Street – will be a 15-story, 82-unit building operated by The Fortune Society, a nonprofit that helps people reenter society after being incarcerated.

Sixty percent of the building’s 82 units would be reserved for homeless, formerly incarcerated people, with another 10 percent reserved for formerly homeless people.

One hundred percent of the apartments will be affordable, open to New Yorkers earning between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income — qualifying as “extremely” and “very” low-income.

For Castle III to be built, the city would need to grant a special zoning permit for the site, on East 123rd between Park and Lexington avenues, to allow for increased density. Developers hope to start construction by 2022 and wrap up in 2024.

To read more about The Fortune Society, and “Castle 1” – located on Riverside Drive in West Harlem – see this fantastic New Yorker article:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/11/16/what-makes-the-difference-between-getting-out-of-prison-and-staying-out

Odyssey House – Coming to East 126

Odyssey House is building (first knocking down) 52-54 East 126th Street and reimaginging it as a ~20 single unit supportive housing facility.

Graduates of Odyssey House programming will live on East 126th Street who have progressed beyond transitional housing. This new building will act more like a normal rental where tenants have individual and renewable leases. 

Odyssey House also said that this building will be staffed by two Odyssey House people 24/7.

Racist Coverage at The New York Times – 1911

While America’s “Paper of Record” is an invaluable source for exploring the history of Harlem and beyond, the deeply racist language found in the New York Times’ archives continues to shock.

Clearly, racially motivated discrimination and segregation has always been a part of the Harlem real estate market. Before the first decade of the 20th century, housing segregation was conducted on an ad hoc basis, by individual supers and landlords. As Black New Yorkers (and increasing numbers of southern refugees from racial terror) moved into more Harlem blocks, white residents and property owners began to organize and coordinate their segregationist behavior into compacts and agreements.

The offensive language used by the NYT like “menace” and “invasion”, was tightly interwoven with financial anxiety. Property values were mentioned in the sub heading, and used to both justify racial covenants and to describe the impact a multi-racial neighborhood would have on white property owners:

And, while we know that the work put into the organizations, alliances, agreements, and covenants failed, in the end, the cumulative impact was a self-fulfilling prophecy of overcrowded Black buildings, deprived of capital (improvements) with exorbitant rents. Without the ability to freely choose where they rented, Black New Yorkers were more easily exploited by Harlem’s landlords who could charge significantly more than they would have been able to charge white tenants who could rent in other New York neighborhoods.

The article concludes by essentializing Black New Yorkers as part of a “shifting and uncertain people”, in order to rationalize the white racial anxiety expressed in the article.

To read the original, see:

Shop Harlem


We are 2 days away from Harlem’s most creative virtual event this season!  
HBA is pleased to partner with AT&T and Experience Harlem to bring you the holiday event of the season! We know you love all things Harlem, that’s how we know you’ll love the Shop Harlem Virtual Fair. This will be an interactive social distancing event with lots of surprises and unique opportunities in store. Event highlights will include: We know you love all things Harlem, that’s how we know you’ll love the Shop Harlem Virtual Fair. This will be an interactive social distancing event with lots of surprises and unique opportunities in store. Event highlights will include:DJ Stormin Norman spinning live on the main stageInteractive booths featuring Harlem’s best shops and makersNetworking opportunities – where you can launch a video chat with anyone, one-on-one or in a groupSpecial guests who represent HarlemMuch more to comeThere’s no need to travel outside of Harlem to discover the perfect gift this holiday season. With scores of local entrepreneurs, small businesses, artists and artisans, there’s no better place to shop than the Shop Harlem Virtual Fair! Although this season is unlike any other let’s bring in the holidays the right way by supporting Harlem businesses throughout the holiday season. 
Free RSVP 
 
Harlem, stand with us. We challenge 5,000 Harlemites to take the pledge to support Black-owned businesses this holiday season. With your help we can achieve this goal!
1. Share this blog post with your friends.

2. Purchase from businesses listed in our Shop Harlem Gift Guide to: https://bit.ly/2JBsjFE 

3. Use hashtags #shopharlemfair #shopharlem2020 #EXPERIENCEHarlem when you shop.

4. Follow @experienceharlem for more info, giveaways and more.

Let’s keep Harlem alive and thriving! #shopharlem  Show love to our community while making a loved one smile by shopping from businesses listed in our #ShopHarlem Holiday Gift Guide 2020.

Like, love, & share with your fellow Harlemites. Harlem Gift Guide

52-45 East 126th Street

For those of you curious about the activity on the south side of East 126th Street between Park/Madison, I thought I’d submit the initial visualizations that Odyssey House presented:

The current site is being demolished and a new building will replace it.

A spokesperson for Odyssey House who I spoke to in November note that:

The plans for the development have not changed since we presented them to the community in 2016. The project will provide a mix of 15 permanent supportive housing units for special needs, single adults and six apartments for single low-income tenants. All tenants will have access to front desk coverage and on-site building maintenance. The supportive housing tenants will receive case management services, vocational training, recreational activities, and access to medical and psychiatric services through community-based providers.

Odyssey house expects construction on the project to be completed by the end of 2021.