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Huge East Harlem development will have 400 affordable apartments

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The entire development will be fully affordable

In October it was revealed that L+M Development Partners along with Tahl Propp Equities were planning a massive, fully-affordable residential project that would span an entire city block in East Harlem. On Tuesday, the 400-unit project was approved by the City Council, signaling its successful progress through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP).

In fact, the City Council negotiated a bigger share of affordability than what the development team had originally proposed. Lexington Gardens II, as the project is known, will offer 20 percent of its units at 30 percent of AMI, 30 percent to families making 50 percent of AMI, another 30 percent to families making 80 percent of AMI, and finally, the remaining units will be offered to families making 130 percent of AMI.

The project will rise right next to the existing Lexington Garden I development located on the eastern half of the block bound by East 107th and 108th Streets and Lexington and Park Avenues. That section-8 housing project was developed by one of the partners on this one, Tahl Propp Equities. The new residential building will replace the existing parking lot on the western section of that property.

Since the project was announced in October, the number of units seemed to have gone up just a little from the 390 previously proposed to 400. Renderings at that time showed that the units would be spread out among a set of conjoined buildings that vary in height from eight to fifteen stories. Architects, Curtis+Ginsberg have decided to move forward with the same plan.

Apartments here will range in size from studios to three-bedrooms and amenities in the building include a landscaped courtyard, several rooftop terraces, a laundry facility, and a gym. A sizable chunk of this development has also been set aside for community facilities and retail.

About 35,000-square-feet will be devoted to the non-profit, Northside Center for Child Development. An additional 3,000-square-feet will go to another non-profit, Union Settlement. Apart from that, there are plans for 4,000 square feet of retail, and a two-level parking garage. The developers have also vowed to undertake some street beautification projects by adding planters and by creating a public art program to support the retail sections.

As part of the agreement with the City Council and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, a certain amount of the units at this development will be subject to the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing law and hence will be permanently affordable. The others will be protected through a 40-year regulatory agreement.