The City’s East Harlem Neighborhood Initiative is a broad and comprehensive plan to facilitate the development of affordable housing, preserve existing neighborhood character, improve the pedestrian experience, and enable new commercial and manufacturing space to support job creation. It covers 96 blocks generally bounded by East 104th street to the south, East 132nd Street to the north, Park Avenue to the west and Second Avenue to the east. The plan also features supporting initiatives related to infrastructure, economic development, workforce and community health.
The goals of the East Harlem Initiative are to:
The East Harlem Neighborhood Initiative builds on the recommendations of residents and stakeholders, including those in the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan (EHNP). The East Harlem Neighborhood Initiative is part of Housing New York, the Mayor’s plan to foster an equitable and livable city using zoning and other tools.
The rezoning is expected to facilitate the creation of nearly 2,700 new homes beyond what was previously permitted, a substantial proportion of which are expected to be affordable through the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) program. The City is also prioritizing the development of affordable housing on public sites throughout East Harlem.
Additionally, the zoning would also strengthen the role of East Harlem as a major transit hub and job center by promoting the creation of new job-generating commercial and industrial space. Over ten years, the plan is projected to spur an estimated 122,000 square feet of stores and restaurants and 275,000 square feet of office and industrial space.
NEW HOUSING: Promote new housing, requiring for the first time in East Harlem permanently-affordable housing through the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, along Park, Lexington, Third and Second Avenues.
PRESERVATION: Preserve existing affordable housing in East Harlem and preserve the built neighborhood character along mid-blocks and other areas with a strong existing architectural context.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Create opportunities for job growth and economic development while preserving the vitality of existing commercial and manufacturing uses along key corridors, including Park Avenue, Third Avenue and East 116th Street.
URBAN DESIGN: Ensure that new development enhances the streets and sidewalks of East Harlem with active ground floors, building heights appropriate for the neighborhood context and other regulations to create a safe and enjoyable pedestrian experience.
INFRASTRUCTURE + COMMUNITY FACILITIES: Leverage the neighborhood’s strong existing and future transportation infrastructure, which includes Phase II of the Second Avenue Subway, and ensure that community facilities support current demand and future growth in transit-accessible locations.
The East Harlem Initiative is more than just zoning. The plan also features supporting initiatives related to infrastructure, economic development, workforce, and community health that will benefit the community and enable it to thrive. These initiatives are summarized below. The Mayor’s Office of Operations provides annual updates on the status of these projects and programs on their website.
On December 27, 2017, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) released the final East Harlem Housing Plan, which summarizes the goals, strategies, and actions that the City is undertaking in East Harlem to preserve existing affordable housing, develop new affordable housing, improve access to affordable housing, and promote economic opportunity. Further details on each strategy can be found in the Housing Plan.