Better days are ahead for the Randolph Houses on West 114th Street—not that the 36 tenement buildings in Central Harlem have ever truly known good days.
Built in the 1890s, along with thousands of other substandard cold water flats serving the booming population of European immigrants, the buildings were abandoned amidst white flight. Like so many other unwanted apartments of that generation, they were taken over by the city in the 1970s and turned into public housing. Attempts at upkeep have been made over the years, but the upkeep never really was, well, kept up. The buildings have deteriorated to such a state that only 109 of their 452 units are occupied, but the city cannot afford to fix them.
To finally revive the Randolph Houses, the city’s Housing Authority and Department of Housing Preservation and Development are partnering with a private developer to retrofit the properties into modern, low-income housing. A request for proposals was released last week, and the winning developer will be charged with transforming the buildings into a mix of 140 public housing units and at least 155 affordable housing units. Read More