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Developers of Harlem’s long-planned Victoria Theater seek opportunity zone investors

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The hotel-residential hybrid project is seeking investors

A digital rendering of the Victoria Theater’s interior shows an ornate green and red ceiling with a geometric pattern, a marble reception desk, and a polished copper floor.
A rendering of the interior of the Victoria Theater redevelopment.
Aufgang Architects

The redevelopment of the historic Victoria Theater has been more than a decade in the making, and reached a milestone over the summer as a new addition to the theater topped out (and became Harlem’s tallest tower). But the New York Post recently reported that the developers may be seeking a buyer for the development.

Developers Exact Capital Group and Lam Group are behind the project, located at 233 West 125th Street, which includes a 26-story Renaissance by Marriot hotel and an adjacent residential tower that rose to 27 stories in June.

A spokesperson for Exact Capital Group declined to comment on whether the developers are looking for a buyer, and said that they are seeking an Opportunity Zone (OZ) investor—these spaces are designed to spur economic development by providing tax benefits to investors—for the project. Marcus & Millichap will conduct an investment round for the project, and has released an offering memorandum, a document that states the objectives, risks, and terms of an investment.

A digital rendering of the glassy hotel towers over the tan terra cotta Victoria Theater. The adjacent grey and white residential building is also shown to the right of the hotel.
A rendering of the hotel-residential hybrid project.
Aufgang Architects

“OZ regulations are intricate. An investor must be at the table in order to determine an optimal structure for an OZ investment,” Exact Capital said in a statement. “No determination has been made yet for an OZ structure for the Victoria project. Ultimately any investment would occur in the form of a structured transaction which requires the input of the OZ investor.”

Both the hotel and residential buildings were designed by Aufgang Architects; the hotel features 210 room and a 5,000-square-foot ballroom while the residential building will have 191 units—90 of which will be set aside as below-market-rate, rent stabilized units, according to the developers.

As part of the redevelopment, the nearly 100-year-old theater is being incorporated into the residential-hotel hybrid and reimagined as an arts center with two black box theaters operated by the Apollo Theater Foundation and office spaces for arts nonprofits, including the JazzMobile, the Classical Theater of Harlem, and the Harlem Arts Alliance.

The theater’s 1917 space will be modernized, but is keeping a cadre of its historic touches like its terra cotta facade, ornate lobby, and marquis.