By Sarah Trefethen
A 42,000 s/f property on 125th Street in Harlem is available for redevelopment through the Economic Development Corporation.
Development of the site, located next door to the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building, is part of the city’s efforts to breath new life into the historic corridor, home to the Studio Museum in Harlem, the National Black Theater and the Apollo Theater.
According to the Request for Proposals the EDC issued last week, 125th Street sees more foot traffic than any other corridor in Upper Manhattan, and nearly 800,000 tourists visit the greater Harlem area each year.
The development corporation is seeking a developer to purchase the property and build a “central retail, office and cultural exhibition space in the heart of Upper Manhattan.”
Among the numerous goals outlined in the RFP is a desire to strengthen the area’s concentration of arts and entertainment venues, provide employment, increase activity on the street during the evening hours, maintain a connection to Harlem’s cultural history, extend visitors’ stays, and employ the site’s 200 feet of frontage on 125th Street for active retail space.
The site, at 121 W 125th St., is subject to a number of agreements negotiated between the city and local politicians as part of the rezoning process that concluded on 125th Street in 2008. The building on the site now hosts a 160,000 s/f parking garage and six retail spaces.
Under current zoning, the site could be developed with 302,000 s/f of commercial space. Adding a museum or performing arts center could entitle the developer to increase that total to 363,000 s/f.