HARLEM, Manhattan (PIX11) — A controversial truck depot opened in Harlem on Wednesday.
Developer Bruce Teitelbaum originally wanted to build housing on 145th Street near Malcolm X Boulevard. Kristin Richardson Jordan, the councilwoman for the area, objected to his plan. She said the plan would “upzone” the neighborhood and wouldn’t provide affordable housing for residents.
Teitelbaum needed to convince the City Council to rezone the area for his housing plan, but he withdrew the application amid pushback from Richardson Jordan and others, according to the Real Deal. He said he’d build a truck depot instead, which did not require new zoning.
“This is not the result we planned or hoped for on 145th Street,” Teitelbaum said, according to the New York Times . “But without someone who is willing to find common ground and compromise, we have no other viable alternative or choices.”
Richardson Jordan told PIX11 News in late December that she was “disheartened yet unsurprised” about the truck depot. She said the the depot was a “vengeful plan that would increase inequality and blight.”
“Our community has been given the same false choice as many other working-class, black, and brown ones: either give in to gentrification, i.e., get out, or suffer the consequences and be squeezed out,” she said. “The people nor our office will give in and facilitate either. Another way is indeed possible.”
Both Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul have recently announced plans to bring more housing to New York.
“As the city’s housing shortage continues to exacerbate our affordability crisis, developers and communities must work together to create more housing, especially housing that all New Yorkers can afford,” a spokesperson for Adams said Wednesday when asked about the depot. “ We will continue working with all of our partners on a comprehensive effort to bring much-needed affordable housing to Harlem and every neighborhood in New York City.”
PIX11 has reached out to Teitelbaum several times. He has not yet responded.