Olnick Organization Modifies Rezoning Plan For Lenox Terrace Complex in Central Harlem

Rendering of Lenox Terrace following development - The Olnick OrganizationRendering of Lenox Terrace following development - The Olnick Organization

The Olnick Organization has modified proposals to construct five new towers within the Lenox Terrace residential complex in Central Harlem. These changes arrive just days before a scheduled review by the City Planning Commission in response to opposition from the local Community Board 10 and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

The original proposals sought to rezone the area to facilitate the construction of commercial buildings, in an effort to create new businesses within one of the longest existing residential complexes in Harlem. Residents, however, feared that the introduction of commercial buildings to the complex, specifically a large podium structure, could water down the cultural and historic significance of Lenox Terrace.

Rendering of Lenox Terrace podium prior to design modifications - The Olnick Organization

Rendering of Lenox Terrace podium prior to design modifications – The Olnick Organization

New applications include proposals to both upzone the area and establish a commercial overlay. In other words, The Olnick Organization would be able to construct slightly taller buildings with a greater number of apartments or an increase in allowable density.

Specific plans still include the construction of five 28-story residential towers that would introduce 1,600 new apartment units. Approximately 400 to 500 apartments would be designated affordable in compliance with the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing standards. Modified retail area would measure 160,000 square feet. The project would also create six acres of green space and a mix of amenities available to all Lenox Terrace residents.

“We appreciate the feedback we have received from residents, Community Board 10, and the Borough President,” said Seth Schochet, president of The Olnick Organization. “We believe this input has resulted in a better plan for Lenox Terrace, its residents, and the community, and we look forward to continuing this productive dialog in the weeks ahead.”

The plan is currently under consideration by the City Planning Commission, which is expected to vote in early February. Construction was originally expected to break ground this fall and open to the public by 2023. It’s unclear whether these modifications have affected the publicized construction schedule.

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5 Comments on "Olnick Organization Modifies Rezoning Plan For Lenox Terrace Complex in Central Harlem"

  1. This article made it seem like residents are voting NO on the commercial parts of the project. As a resident in the community and an attendee to the Lenox meetings since day 1, I can assure you the commercial area isn’t the issue at hand. The issue is that the present buildings are not affordable and are in desperate need of fixing before building even more apartments. Also the buildings are to be 28 stories, Harlem doesn’t need highrises. Also the traffic, lack of parking and subway overcrowding is big issue in this area now, this would only make it far worse. Please actually get the correct info before introducing this to the public.

    • “Harlem doesn’t need highrises.”

      Harlem, and NYC in general is full of highrises.

      Parking? Pay for an off street spot.

  2. Olnik should just propose more affordable housing. Density is their friend. They should propose 2 or 3 more towers 100% affordable housing and promose to give them to residents in the current buildings, then demolish the old ones and build more, higher buildings with even more affordable housing.

    The commercial angle is what is spooking folks. And they are right. There is no need for more retail, other then the minimum to support the community everyday life. There is no need for a shopping mall, just get a good supermarket and that is enough.

    Also, if there was really such a demand for business in the area, it would have happened already by necessity. The developer is trying to build commercial inventory where no demand exists. ‘Tis folly.

  3. I am worry about the weight of five new buildings on the lenox Terrace property In the past with two buildings on 135th between 5th and Malcolm X Blvd there have been flooding around two buildings. Sometimes after a heavy rain, water lingred on the grounds for days until it drys. If rain can cause flooding with two buildings on their property what will happen after a heavy rain with five new building 24 stories high?

  4. TheHarlemFrontier | February 2, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Reply

    Where do people get the gall to tell a landlord that they cant develop on their own property?
    A argument being made by the residents is they fear “losing African American plurality” in a already gentrified development, and neighborhood. You have got to be kidding me.
    Then you’re saying that you want it preserved as a landmark? How? Lenox Terrace doesn’t qualify for landmark status. People are acting as if it were apart of the Underground Railroad.
    The commercial aspect of Harlem is needed, for there are many-a-business, that want to relocate Uptown. 125th street is booming.
    Lenox Ave between 132 and 135 is currently a eyesore. U got a few low brow businesses, and a ton of street vendors who operate daily. Let em buy their headscarves, fruit, and bootleg CD’s somewhere else

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