Planes Trains & Automobiles
The outside general counsel for the National Urban League has denied a rumor that Macy’s was heading to a 400,000-square-foot site owned by the Empire State Development Corporation on 125th Street in Harlem.
NY1 was the first to report earlier this morning that the massive department store chain was expanding to the storied uptown boulevard. The plan angered some locals, who said that the store would displace independent businesses–many of them minority-owned–in the historically black neighborhood. That article is currently not available online.
Planes Trains and Automobiles
With buses regularly crawling along 125th Street at less than 3 miles per hour and the vast majority of residents dependent on public transit, everybody agreed that Harlem’s busiest crosstown corridor deserves better bus service. In theory, at least.
But after a year of workshops, meetings, charrettes and other assorted public input buzzwords, the New York City Department of Transportation pulled the plug on a select bus service plan.
When it comes to bike lanes, the Bloomberg administration and its trinominal Department of Transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, doesn’t back down.
Whether it means facing down her predecessor, Iris Weinshall, and husband Chuck Schumer over the Prospect Park West bike lane, or enduring the tabloids’ volleys over Citi Bike, the administration can be counted on to be a reliable ally when it comes to bikes.
Buses, though, are another story.
It’s the biggest show on the block since James Brown played The Apollo.
At the end of August, Danforth Development announced that it had found a partner to move forward with its plans to develop two 26-story towers above the century-old Victoria Theater. The project has been in the works for years now, a pet project of local politician Keith Wright. A new hotel and apartment building are meant to sustain a clutch of cultural institutions on the first few buildings of the complex, and things were well underway until the recession hit.
Now, Exact Capital is pitching in $100 million to get the project off the ground. Way off the ground.
Promises: they’re easy to make, but hard to keep. Just ask the residents and landowners of West Harlem.
For the last five years, a number of developments have been proposed along 125th Street, but most have fallen through. Take, for instance, Vornado Realty Trust’s ambitious plans for a 600,000-square-foot office building on the corner of Park Avenue that would have housed Major League Baseball’s new television network. That building never materialized, nor did a later development, planned on the same site, for a high-rise that included a Marriott hotel.
So what’s the beef? Why are so many projects along 125th Street (as well as nearby Lexington and Morningside avenues) habitually planned and then abandoned?
While Bill Clinton’s decision to rent office space in Harlem may seem like a modest one–imagine if the former president using taxpayer money to pay Park Avenue prices–he still pays more, on a per-square-foot basis, than any of his presidential colleagues, even after renegogiating his lease for the top floor of 55 West 125th Street.
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Another new development project canceled.
Speaking at an investor conference yesterday, Vornado CFO Joseph Macnow gave word that the company’s troubled plans for Harlem Park, an office tower on 125th Street, have been officially scuttled.
“We’ve shut down a couple of development projects,” Mr. Macnow said. “We were going to Read More
The Bloomberg administration has designated a team led by Chicago-based developer General Growth Properties and Archstone Smith to construct a 1.7 million-square-foot mixed-use, mixed-income complex on East 125th Street, the city announced today.
The selection was coupled with a vote on the project by the City Council, which this afternoon approved Read More
Harlem’s most ubiquitous activist and resident Cassandra, Sikhulu Shange, has been warning against the perils of gentrification and the displacement of small businesses in the community for decades. He became living proof of his most dire prophesies this summer when he was forced to close his iconic music store on 125th Street, the Record Shack, Read More
The gentrification train keeps roaring its way up to Harlem and Morningside Heights, or should we say "SoCo."
Today Curbed posted two items that spell trouble or progress, depending on your point of view. W Hotel’s parent company Starwood is building a branch of its new Aloft brand on Frederick Douglass Bpulevard and 124th Read More