The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) unanimously approved a comprehensive renovation of the historic Harlem River Houses surrounding West 151st Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard in Upper Manhattan. The scope of work includes major improvements to the existing landscape design and outdoor recreation areas, lighting and security improvements, new retail storefronts, refurbished apartments, and sustainability improvements.
This milestone arrive two years after New York City Housing Authority‘s decision to transfer management of Harlem River Houses to private developers. The developers, Settlement Housing Fund and West Harlem Group Assistance are now leading the effort to improve quality of life for existing residents and the community’s next generation.
Total construction costs are estimated around $130 million.
Improvements to the existing landscape design include new trees and planters throughout the six-building complex. The project team will also restore three playgrounds, ceremonial steps, the large central courtyard, multiple terraces, an amphitheater, and install a new fountain in the western portion of the complex.
To improve the comfort and safety of the residents, the team will also replace failing light fixtures and security cameras, install removable bollards at the boundaries of the complex, add chain link fences around children’s playgrounds, and repair cracking pavement in pedestrian zones and vehicular roadways.
Retail storefronts within the Harlem River Houses will receive new aluminum, restored pavement, and granite bases. Exterior brickwork at each of the residential properties will also be cleaned, repaired, or replaced as needed.
While an official construction timeline has not been revealed, reports say construction could break ground this winter.