Last week, YIMBY brought you an update on the Whole Foods rising on 125th Street in Harlem. Now we have a rendering for another commercial project on the bustling retail strip, a two-story building at 324 West 125th Street, on the corner of St Nicholas Avenue and right next to the A, B, C and D trains.
The Department of Buildings hasn’t approved the plans yet, but architects Thomas LaPorta and Stephen Gambino tell us that the building will encompass 32,250 square feet, including cellars, rooftops and back of house spaces. Two retail tenants will occupy the ground floor, and the second floor will host a restaurant with a 4,000-square-foot rooftop bar.
The developer just finished demolishing the site’s previous occupant, a rundown, five-story brick tenement building with storefronts that date back to the late 19th century. The 36,000-square-foot structure held 19 apartments and seven shops, and some parts of the building had been boarded up and empty for years before the owner chose to redevelop the site.
Permits list the developer as Abe Betesh’s Abe Co Management, headquartered down in Bensonhurst. Back in 1988, the 19-year-old Betesh was profiled in the Times, snapping up tenements in Harlem and the Bronx for bargain basement prices and professing his adoration for Donald Trump.
But deeds reveal that the owner is Jeff Sutton of Wharton Properties, who’s also developing the six-story retail complex anchored by Whole Foods at 100 West 125th Street. The Midtown East-based firm took over the 17,800-square-foot property for an undisclosed amount in 2010.
Staten Island-based Gambino and LaPorta Architecture designed the Whole Foods development too. They’re working on a third project on 125th Street that includes residential and retail, but they couldn’t reveal any more details.