The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) on behalf of the City of New York is proposing a series of land use actions (collectively the “Proposed Project”) to facilitate the redevelopment of a City-owned full block site in East Harlem. The Proposed Project is anticipated to result in a mixed-use development project including a mix of permanently affordable and middle income residential, commercial, and community facility uses, and provide a publicly-accessible memorial commemorating the Harlem African Burial Ground and its important role in the history of Harlem and New York City. The Proposed Project and resulting development program reflects ongoing consultation with the 126th Street Bus Depot Task Force, the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force, Manhattan CD 11, and local elected officials. The Proposed Project was also informed by and is consistent with the cultural heritage protection, economic development, and affordable housing goals identified in the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan, a community-based planning proposal issued in February 2016 by a Steering Committee consisting of a consortium of project partners and community organizations.
The Proposed Project could result in up to approximately 655,215 gross square feet (gsf) of residential development (comprising approximately 730 DUs, of which 50 percent would be affordable to households earning at or below 80 percent Area Median Income (AMI)); approximately 315,000 gsf of commercial uses (including retail and office uses); approximately 30,000 gsf of community facility uses (including a 15,000 sf historical and cultural center as part of the memorial); 300 accessory parking spaces (to be provided in an above-ground enclosed garage); and approximately 18,000 sf of outdoor, unbuilt memorial space. The Proposed Project would include a total of approximately 952,585 zoning square feet (zsf), representing a Built FAR of 8.25. Overall, including accessory parking areas the project site would have a total of 1,090,215 gsf of building area. The Proposed Project is expected to be completed by 2022.
After the approvals comprising the Proposed Project complete the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), a Request for Proposals (RFP) soliciting proposals for development of the project site would be issued. It is anticipated that the site disposition would stipulate location and programming elements of the Harlem African Burial Ground Memorial, including an outdoor area and an indoor cultural facility. In order to address the potential range of responses to an RFP, the environmental review analyzes a reasonable worst-case development scenario (RWCDS) that conservatively considers for each impact category the reasonable worst-case potential for environmental effects. While the discretionary approvals that comprise the Proposed Project have been defined, the specific development program and site plan under the Proposed Project would be dependent on the RFP response. Thus, pursuant to City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR), a generic environmental impact statement (GEIS) will be prepared that considers the environmental impacts based on the RWCDS.
It is anticipated that the proposed 126th Street Bus Depot project will require approval of several discretionary city actions, including the following:
In addition, in the future the private developer may seek public financing to facilitate the development of permanently affordable housing and/or the public financing by for economic development purposes.
On August 19, 2016, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development (ODMHED), as lead agency for the CEQR environmental review, issued an Environmental Assessment Statement (EAS) and a Positive Declaration for the project indicating that there was the potential for adverse environmental impacts due to the project and directed that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) be prepared. At the same time, a Draft Scope of Work for a Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) was issued for public comment. A public scoping meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 6:30 P.M. and held at the Silberman School of Social Work Building, located at 2180 Third Avenue, NY, NY 10035, first floor conference room (115AB). The comment period for the Draft Scope of Work remained open until October 7, 2016. On February 16, 2017, ODMHED issued the Final Scope of Work for the preparation of the DGEIS.
The Notice of Completion for the DGEIS was issued on February 17, 2017, which marked the beginning of the public comment period on this document. A public hearing on the DGEIS was held on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, at 10:00 a.m., in Spector Hall, at 22 Reade Street, in Lower Manhattan. Written comments on the DGEIS were accepted until Monday, June 19, 2017, at 5:00 p.m..
On July 13, 2017, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development issued the Notice of Completion for the Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement, marking the completion of the project’s CEQR environmental review.
The environmental review documents can be downloaded from CEQR Access.