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Rumblings in East Harlem; FiDi's 99 John Perks Up

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EAST HARLEM?Work was supposed to begin on the city-spearheaded redevelopment of East 125th Street last year. Is 2010 the charm? The site of the East Harlem Media, Entertainment and Cultural Center is newly active, a tipster writes: "I've noticed a lot of new restaurants, grocers, and quality small businesses popping up lately in East Harlem, but what I saw this morning was a real shocker. Work on the East Harlem mixed-use development on 125th and Third Avenue has actually begun. These pics are of the vacant lot on the SE corner. It's been boarded up, there are hard hats on site, and that tractor is busy digging. Nothing so far on the more substantial work planned for the NE corner, but not surprising since demolition is required there." Please note that the sign says work will be done on 9/1/11. Let the countdown begin! [CurbedWire Inbox]

FIDI?Is it just us, or have all those Diaper District developments been awfully quiet lately? Here's the latest regarding former rental 99 John Street, now known as 99 John Deco Lofts. About a month ago, brokerage Nest Seekers International took over sales, and a rep tells 10 contracts have been signed since, lifting the building out of a sales funk. Listings in the building range from a $495k studio to a $3.2 million penthouse. [CurbedWire Inbox]