HARLEM, Manhattan (PIX11) – After scrapping plans to build mixed-use affordable housing buildings on 145th Street in Harlem because of opposition from the community, the developer built a truck stop in the neighborhood.
Months later, Bruce Teitelbaum has new plans to bring back the residential buildings, but residents say they want it to be it to be “truly” affordable.
The truck depot now sits on 145th Street in Harlem after residents and the City Council fought against Teitelbaum’s plans to build two towering apartment buildings on the property.
The project’s website (one45harlem.com) states the developer withdrew the applications for land use last year. Now that plans are revived for the project, New York State Assembly Member Al Taylor wants to open dialogue again.
“Call us back to the table to have a discussion, but also I’m asking that the developers would shut down this truck stop so we could have a real conversation,” Taylor said.
Teitelbaum says unless the City Council approves rezoning, a truck depot is one of the few things he can put on the property, but the community believes it was done in spite. They also worry about health issues; upper Manhattan has some of the highest cases of child hospitalizations due to pollution-induced asthma.
“I think it was very mean and not caring for the community,” resident and community activist Iesha Sekou said.
The new project is being called “One45 Harlem For All” and the mixed-use buildings would no longer include a Civil Rights Museum. Instead, the 60,000 square-foot space would be built for low-income seniors.
Per the plans, 174 units would be reserved for residents earning as little as $28,000 per year for one person and up to $53,000 for a family of four. Half of the 900+ units would also be designated affordable – more than double from the original plans proposed five years ago – but the community wants it exclusively affordable.
“We want housing in a way that makes sense for all of the people, all of the stakeholders in the community,” said Dr. Malcolm Punter, CEO of Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement.
One45 argues that no residents currently live on the commercial property so no one would be getting displaced.
The residents hope a resolution can be made soon as progress on the property is at a standstill.