If the city’s Economic Development Corp. has its way, a full-block East Harlem site that houses a former slave burial ground — and most recently was used as an MTA bus depot — could become a massive mixed-use complex with hundreds of affordable housing units.
Plans for a 1.1 million-square-foot project at the city-owned site at 2460 Second Avenue were disclosed in The City Record last week, according to the Commercial Observer. A memorial and cultural center commemorating the burial ground and its descendants would be a “centerpiece” of the development, which will also provide housing and jobs to the community, an EDC spokesperson said in a statement.
The proposal includes a 655,215-square-foot building with 730 apartments — 50 percent of which would be affordable. The rest of the space would be used as retail and office space, with about 30,000 square feet set aside for a community facility, including 15,000 square feet for a burial ground memorial.
Plans also call for a 300-spot parking garage and 18,000 square feet of outdoor space.
The 17th century site, between 126th and 127th streets, was previously occupied by a church and slave burial ground before being developed into an amusement park, casino and film studio. It was later leased to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which vacated the 105,000-square-foot building in January after its lease expired. http://therealdeal.co
If the EDC’s plans make it through the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), the ultimate goal is to change the zoning and sell the site to a private developer in order to execute its vision. [CO] — E.B. Solomont