Harlem Housing Development A Vote Away From Approval

Patch reports that a massive proposed development that would take up an entire East Harlem block is only one vote away from passing the city’s public review process.

The New York City Council committees on zoning and land use voted to approve applications for the Sendero Verde development. The development will span East 111th and 112th streets between Madison and Park avenues, which is currently home to community green spaces.

The development will contain a 680-unit apartment complex — of which all units will be offered at below market-rate prices — a charter school, a new YMCA facility, a health-foods market and more community space including a Mount Sinai community health center. The block is currently home to four community gardens and a baseball field, according to the city Department of Housing Preservation. The gardens will be preserved and integrated into the development, according to the HPD.

While many city officials have hailed the development as a boon for affordable housing in East Harlem, community activists have questioned whether the apartments will actually be affordable for the neighborhood’s current residents.

The project proposed by Jonathan Rose Companies and L+M Development Partners calls for 30 percent of building units to be reserved for families making less than $24,480, according to a City Council press release. Ten percent of the units will be reserved for the formerly homeless, according to the City Council.

The numbers are consistent with the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan, a community study pioneered by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to prepare the neighborhood for an upcoming rezoning.

Of the building’s 680 units, about 163 will be declared permanently affordable under the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing law. How long other units remain below market-rate depends on whether the developers refinance loans and subsidies with HPD which would keep the units from hitting market-rate rents.

The full City Council will vote on the development during its November 30, 2017, meeting.

Renderings courtesy of HPD

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