Construction is in full swing for Ray Harlem at 2033 Fifth Avenue in the Special Arts District in East Harlem, Manhattan. Designed by Handel Architects and Frida Escobedo, and developed by Ray and LMXD, the ground-up 21-story, 240-foot-tall mixed-use project will yield 222 rental units in the main tower ranging from studios to two-bedrooms, a portion of which are designated towards affordable housing, while the National Black Theatre (NBT) is expected to occupy 25,000 square feet of space on the ground floor, cellar level and floors three through five and feature a 250-seat flexible temple space and a 99-seat studio theater, classrooms, and offices. Little Wing Lee is the interior designer, Charcoalblue, Marvel Architects, and Studio & Projects are overseeing the theater aspect and Chatsworth Builders is listed at the general contractor for the property, which is located along Fifth Avenue between East 125th and East 126th Streets.
Recent photographs show the reinforced concrete superstructure quickly being formed and assembled with a large team of workers scattered across the upper floors as concrete gets dumped and delivered. King Contracting Group is supplying 120,000 square feet of CMU, 70,000 square feet of bricks, 40,000 square feet of EIFS, and 10,000 square feet of GRFC for the project.
The original 64,000-square-foot structure that once stood on the land was severely damaged during a 1983 fire and was demolished before work broke ground in early 2022. Work has surpassed the halfway mark and YIMBY anticipates the tower to eventually top out sometime this fall.
The below renderings depict the earth-toned exterior facade and interiors of the National Black Theatre. A grid of floor-to-ceiling windows clad with pocketed terrace spaces encompass the residential portion and are grouped together in two-story increments with dark mullions and spandrels. A sidewalk canopy protrudes from the main entrance along Fifth Avenue, while a pocketed terrace is visible on the southwestern corner of the podium.
Residential amenities will include a 24/7 attended lobby, a ground-floor community space, business center, an outdoor rooftop terrace, a courtyard, a library, and an art room. The nearest subways from the site include the 4 and 5 trains at the 125th Street station to the east along Lexington Avenue, while the 2 and 3 trains can be accessed to the west along Malcolm X Boulevard.
2033 Fifth Avenue’s anticipated completion date is slated for November 2024 as noted on site.