The New York City Department of Housing Development and Preservation (HPD) has revealed two large-scale mixed-use properties in East Harlem that will create a new Afro-Latin Music and Arts (ALMA) Center and 600 affordable housing units. The ALMA Center will be operated by the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance and the housing units will serve low-income families and the formerly homeless.
The two projects are the latest component of the city’s East Harlem Neighborhood Plan, an initiative that aims to address equitable housing for lower-income residents, education, workforce development, and support local small business owners and nonprofits. These new projects also call for renovation of the East Harlem Multi-Service Center, which provides a range of social services including after-school programming.
“These incredible projects are delivering on the city’s commitment to invest in job training, youth, education, and more affordable housing for East Harlem,” said HPD commissioner Louise Carroll. “They are also proving that affordable housing can be an anchor for the arts and the entire community’s well-being.”
The first site will redevelop a parking lot formerly operated by the New York Police Department’s 25th Precinct located on the east side of Park Avenue between East 118th and 119th Streets. The new ALMA Center will include practice rooms, community performance and art gallery spaces, recording studios, and lower-level retail. In addition to hosting professional musical performances, the center will host free and low-cost music education programming for all ages, job training in the arts, and anti-gun initiatives.
The residential component will debut as Timbale Terrace and include 330 affordable homes. A total of 99 units will be set aside for formerly homeless households and individuals. Amenities will include a mix of indoor and outdoor communal spaces, a fitness center, a shared kitchen, and office space. In addition, Lantern Community Services will provide social services support focused on health and wellness, stable housing, education, and employment.
The winning proposal came from a partnership between The Lantern Organization and Mega Development.
The second development will take shape at 413 East 120th Street, the current location of the East Harlem Multi-Service Center. The new residential building, which will debut as The Beacon, will be constructed at the back of the center.
The Beacon will house 250 apartments. Thirty percent of the homes, roughly 75 units, will be set aside for the formerly homeless.
The multi-service center will be rehabilitated and expanded to include additional space for after-school programming, a new atrium, green space, and the “Wagner Walk,” a walking path connecting the residential building to the existing facility. The renovated facility will continue to host nonprofit organizations serving East Harlem.
“At [The Community Builders], we pride ourselves on building and sustaining strong communities where all people can thrive,” said Desiree Andrepont, senior project manager at The Community Builders. “It is a privilege to partner with Ascendant Neighborhood Development Corporation and bring together the East Harlem community with this exciting project. The transformation of the Multi Service Center will create a collaborative space to unite neighborhood leaders, local organizations, and the greater community, and the development will provide much-needed affordable housing for generations to come.”