East Harlem on 125th Street ~ East Harlem, a Work in Progress?



Image of East Harlem Media, Entertainment & Cultural Center via nycedc

125th Street in East Harlem has seen a constant stream of renovations and building over this past one year.  As per The Real Deal yesterday, the biggest project filed with the city last month is coming to East Harlem, courtesy of the Richman Group and the project scheduled for 201 East 125th Street. We thought this might be a good time to review what we know about projects coming to East Harlem this year, and we will update, as the year unfolds.

Rendering of the Manhattan Greenway in East Harlem. Image courtesy NYC Mayor’s Office

Let’s begin on 125th Street and the East River, with the $100M commitment toward an East Harlem waterfront project, creating a ‘Manhattan Greenway’ between East 125th and East 132nd Streets. The project will create a seven-acre park and a pedestrian and bicycle path. Badly needed repairs are also scheduled to be made on the waterfront between East 96th and East 125th Streets. The East River Greenway Project is expected to get underway in 2020 with an anticipated finish date in 2023, working with New York City Parks Department and the Economic Development Corporation.

Image of East Harlem Media, Entertainment & Cultural Center via nycedc

The Harlem Media, Entertainment & Cultural Center (Harlem MEC) is set to rise at 201 East 125th Street, the former site of an MTA bus depot. It will house over 300,000 square feet of creative office space, retail, 30,000 square feet of not-for-profit arts space, a 98,000 square-foot hotel, 24,000 square-feet of open public space, and 1,000 units of housing.

The project stalled for many reasons, including the issues related to the city proceeding with eminent domain to take land between 125th and 127th Streets and Second and Third Avenues.  The issue of Eminent Domain was recently address in a New York Daily News article, interviewing two owners of businesses hurt or closed by this decision ~ Damon Bae, the owner of Fancy Cleaners and Evan Blum, the owner of one of my favorite shops, Demolition Depot.  And in a subsequent article on January 12, 2018.

Included in this project will be The 126th Street African Burial Ground Memorial (and mixed-use project) honoring the site’s history.

The 19-story, mixed-use building from the Richman Group was also in the number six spot on The Real Deal’s list of the 10 biggest real estate projects planned for New York City throughout all of 2017.

North facade of New York Proton Center (NYPC)

The New York Proton Center (NYPC) will be located at 201-225 East 126th Street, with an anticipated completion date in 2019. The three-story, 115,300 square-feet center is expected to treat 1,500 patients a year.

Looking east from Metro North, with a view of Pathmark on the right (south side) of 125th Street

The now-shuttered Pathmark supermarket lot, located at 160 East 125th Street, was purchased by Extell for $39 million from Abyssinian Development Corporation, along with the neighboring post office for $10 million in 2014. Permits were filed in 2016 for demolition.

Rendering of 175 East 125th Street, The Salvation Army, adjacent to the Bjarke Ingels project. Image via Salvation Army

The image above is a rendering of the Salvation Army project, which is currently under construction at 175 East 125th Street, adjacent to the Bjarke Ingels project. The new Salvation Army building will include a recreation center and church on the first two levels, offices and fitness rooms, cafe’, library and meeting rooms for residents on the third floor. Apartments will start on the fourth floor. Residents will have access to a basement-level basketball court and laundry room, and a rooftop dining hall.

Bjarke Ingels ‘Gotham’ East on East 126th Street. Image via Blumenfeld Development Group

The Bjarke Ingels project, Gotham East, will have an entrance on 126th Street, with an overhang seen from 125th Street, near Third Avenue. It will offer 250 units for rent, with 20% set at affordable rates. The eleven story building is scheduled for completion in 2018.

Historic firehouse located at 120 East 125th Street

The abandoned firehouse, built in 1889 and closed in 2003, was given a new life by the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI)

Empty lot on Park Ave between 124/125th Streets in East Harlem, now owned by Durst Corp.

There are no permits filed for the above image of lot located at 1800 Park Avenue located on the south west corner of 125th Street and Park Avenue, next to the Metro North Station, now owned by the Durst Organization, which was advertised with a future of becoming the tallest building in East Harlem by the Continuum Company prior to the Durst purchase.  Directly across the street, the beautifully renovated historic Corn Exchange Building, thanks to the Artimus Corporation.

Renovated historic Corn Exchange building, 125th Street and Park Ave, north west corner

To the west, the building below, 62-64 East 125th Street, adjacent to the empty lot, is scheduled for demolition.  Across the street is the new luxury rental building, Harlem 125, at 69 East 125th Street, with its commercial space the new home of the Second Avenue Subway Community Information Center.


62-64 East 125th Street, scheduled for demolition


The historic Trowel & Square Building, 26 East 125th Street

Renovation of the facade of the historic Trowel & Square building at 26 East 125th Street, above and below.

Rendering of facade renovation at 26 East 125th Street
Ron Moelis & the National Black Theater site. Image via therealdeal

The National Black Theatre, on north east corner of Fifth Avenue and 125th Street is teaming up with L + M Development Partners to redevelop the theater into a mixed-use building with 240 residential units and space for a new 30,000 square foot theater.  This will more than triple the guidable square footage on the site from about 68,000 square feet to over 240,000 square feet.

The Metro North Station located at 125th Street and Park Avenue has been awarded, along with four other MTA Stations, funds for a much needed renovation that will include new signage, platforms, lighting and WiFi connectivity. The Harlem East Merchant Association (NHEMA) currently holds a variety of community activities at The Place, under the station.

While East 125th Street may appear to be going vertical, back on the ground there are many neighborhood shops, restaurants, and organizations   ~  keeping the integrity of this community.

While you’re there, check out 50 recently completed East Harlem painted gates as part of the #100GatesProject, new public art installation, Atlas, in Marcus Garvey Park, visit a historic firehouse converted into a cultural center, and a four-story salvage shop! Walk through Urban Garden Center, walk over to the iconic Graffiti Wall of Fame, and take a tour of El Barrio’s historic murals. Visit Hunter East Harlem Gallery Taller Boricua, Elizabeth Dee Gallery and The National Black Theater.

Rezoning from NYC Planning.

Stay tuned.

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