Governor Hochul Announced 19 Transformational Project for East Harlem, Garment District & Far Rockaway




Transform East 116th Street and 125th Street into Green Corridors

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a total of 19 transformational projects in New York City as part of two economic development programs: the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and NY Forward. Ten projects were announced for East Harlem, the Round 6 winner of a $10 million DRI award; four projects were announced for the Garment District, a Round 1 winner of a $4.5 million NY Forward award; and five projects were announced for Far Rockaway, also a Round 1 winner of a $4.5 million NY Forward award.

“New York City is the greatest city in the world and these funds will help to create more livable and vibrant communities,” Governor Hochul said. “Restoring and preserving history is a key part of maintaining what makes New York special, and we are providing the resources to ensure New Yorkers can enjoy these spaces for decades to come.”

Caribbean Cultural Center Diaspora Institute (CCCADI), 120 East 125th Street, NYC.

East Harlem was named the New York City winner of the sixth round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative in 2023. The ten projects selected seek to cultivate a vibrant, safe neighborhood with supports and grows local businesses, fosters a healthier community, reinforces the neighborhood’s identity through arts and culture investments and supports open space improvements.

New investment combined with past investments will create a robust environment for the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of historic downtown buildings and infill development that incorporates mixed-income residential opportunities.

The DRI investments are part of the Governor’s ongoing efforts to revitalize the economy and create more opportunities in New York City. The DRI is led by the Department of State, which provides technical assistance as each participating community develops a Strategic Investment Plan identifying specific projects with a unique vision for the revitalization of the downtown area.

Metro North, East 125th Street

The specific projects to be funded through the DRI support several goals and strategies contained in the community’s Strategic Investment Plan, such as amplifying the city’s unique sense of place with a genuine and authentic experience that will be catalytic for future organic growth and will foster development that is inclusive while embracing its strong heritage and ethnic diversity.

East Harlem joins the communities of Jamaica, the Bronx, Downtown Brooklyn, Staten Island, Chinatown and Long Island City, which were New York City’s winners in the first seven DRI rounds.

The $9.7 million state investment in these projects through the DRI will leverage additional public and private investments as the revitalization process proceeds and builds momentum.

The ten East Harlem DRI projects, totaling $9.7 million, include:

Create a Community Wellness and Healthy Food Center at 333 East 115th Street ($956,000)
Redesign an existing space at 333 East 115th Street, currently operating as a thrift store, into a Community Wellness Center that promotes wellness and healthy living by offering free healthy food choices, urban gardening, cooking classes and health screenings, among other community services.

Redesign Entryway, Lobby and First Floor of Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute ($1,400,000)
Enhance the historic firehouse housing the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute with structural improvements, including redesigned entry and lobby, expanded footprint and sidewalk enhancements to address water infiltration.

Revitalize Storefronts Along the East 116th Corridor ($1,000,000)
Create an attractive and welcoming commercial corridor that increases patronage at local businesses and serves the local East Harlem community. The project will design and implement a set of façade and entryway improvements to be applied to multiple small businesses along East 116th Street, generally between Park Avenue and Pleasant Avenue.

Establish a Gateway Community Space at the 125th Street Plaza ($2,000,000)
Transform the 125th Street Plaza beneath the Park Avenue Viaduct by replacing the condemned comfort station with a pavilion-like structure, enhancing lighting and introducing artistic paint treatment on the Park Ave Viaduct structure for community benefit.

Restore Historic Façade of Harlem’s Oldest Church ($292,000)
Improve Elmendorf Reformed Church’s building façade at 171 E 121st Street through limestone exterior and building signage, restoring metal cornices, installing energy-efficient windows, repairing the entryway stairway steps and stone curbs and replacing the main entrance door in effort to preserve its historic presence and ongoing importance to the community.

Build a Multipurpose, Flexible Community Space within Sendero Verde ($500,000)
Transform an existing 1,400 square foot raw space on the 2nd floor of the nearly completed Sendero Verde mixed-use development into a flexible community space that can also serve as a Blackbox and provide extensive programming for the East Harlem community.

Transform East 116th Street and 125th Street into Green Corridors ($650,000)
Enhance the East 116th Street and East 125th Street commercial corridors, east of Park Avenue, by improving and expanding its micro green footprint by improving existing and adding new street trees and vegetation.

Expand Accessible Health Care Services at Boriken Neighborhood Health Center ($1,555,000)
Add one floor to the existing Boriken Neighborhood Health Center at 2265 Third Avenue to add new dental operatories, provide new physical and occupational therapy spaces, expand the patient waiting area and provide other diagnostic services to better meet the health care needs of the community.

Create a New Home for Afro-Latin Music and Arts Center within New Mixed-Use Development ($972,000)
Fit out approximately 20,000 square feet of raw space to support a new home for the Afro-Latin Music and Arts Center as part of the Timbale Terrace mixed-use residential development projects, planned to be located on the east side of Park Avenue between East 118th and 119th Streets. Proposed work includes construction costs associated with building the new center, which will include rehearsal/classrooms, community co-working space, recital hall, gallery, community gathering spaces and restrooms.

Establish an Artistic Entryway and Living Land Acknowledgement at the National Black Theatre ($375,000)
Enhance the entryway to the National Black Theatre’s building and provide an artistic living land acknowledgement to be installed by way of a design inlaid into the sidewalk using words and imagery.

NY Forward
Building on the momentum of the State’s successful Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI), the $100 million NY Forward program adopts the same “Plan-then-Act” strategy as the DRI to support a more equitable downtown recovery for New York’s smaller and rural communities. NY Forward investments are part of the Governor’s ongoing efforts to revitalize the economy and create more opportunities in New York City.


The four Garment District NY Forward Projects, totaling $4.5 Million, include:

Create a Fashion Career Design Hub on 35th Street ($1,086,000)
Transform an existing 10,000 square foot space on the second floor of 253 West 35th Street, in the heart of the Garment District, into a new Fashion Career Design Hub to serve training, coworking and other programs for small businesses and workers in the Garment District’s fashion industry.

Support Fashion Manufacturing Through a Technology Grant Fund ($1,500,000)
Launch a matching grant fund for Garment District-based fashion development studios, manufacturers and fashion brands to expand in-house development/production capabilities.

Green the Garment District with Street Trees and Planters ($587,000)
Improve the quality and quantity of Garment District green space through an expanded network of street trees and planters.

Improve Expanded Pedestrian Walkways Along Seventh and Eighth Avenues ($1,327,000)
Create new edge treatments and lighting between the vehicular travel lanes and the expanded pedestrian walkways along portions of Seventh and Eighth avenues, generally between West 34th and West 41st streets.


The five Far Rockaway NY Forward Projects, totaling $4.5 Million, include:

Develop the Rockaway Music, Arts & Cultural Center ($2,440,000)
Transform the long-vacant O’Kane Building into a cultural center with an amphitheater and community spaces and prep the site for future phases that will further activate the historic structure.

Renovate the Rockaway Community Justice Center ($196,000)
Renovate the Rockaway Community Justice Center to improve the quality of service for clients and to install a storefront monitor that will share available resources and events with the Downtown Far Rockaway community.

Create a New Affordable Daycare Center at JCCRP ($1,233,000)
Renovate the first floor of JCCRP’s building to create a new community daycare center serving children under the age of 3.

Modernize Maternal Healthcare at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital ($368,000)
Transform the Labor and Delivery and Maternity Units at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital into a modern maternal healthcare facility through a gut renovation and build-out of new delivery rooms, recovery rooms and support areas.

Keep Downtown Clean with Modern Waste Bins and Wayfinding Signs ($263,000)
Install new trash and recycling receptacles throughout Downtown Far Rockaway, complemented by a marketing campaign that encourages better trash and recycling practices in the area.

Take a look at East 125th Street, a work in progress; Read about the restoration of the historic Corn Exchange Bank Building; Peruse plans for the Second Avenue Subway; Follow along with Ray Harlem and The National Black Theatre.

What’s up next at CCCADI during Caribbean Heritage Month in June; What’s up with the empty J. Marion Sims art installation space on Fifth Avenue near 103rd Street; Stop by the restored ‘Crack is Wack’ mural by Keith Haring. Visit El Museo del Barrio to see the exhibition Amalia Mesa-Bains: Archaeology of Memory. Don’t miss The Museum Mile Festival – with several Uptown Museums participating.

Don’t get lost, get an East Harlem Map (original will be located at the historic La Marqueta on June 22 and 23 during the East Harlem Open Studios Walking Tour (stay tuned).






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