Macy’s is rumored to be going uptown – to a 400,000-square-foot complex on 125th Street being built by the Empire State Development Corp. The retail giant, though, has not announced plans for a store in Harlem and others contend the location has been tapped as the headquarters of the Urban League.
The Macy’s move became public in a report by NY1; the Urban League project is detailed by DNAinfo. Right now, a small shopping center and a parking garage is on the site, between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Lenox Avenue. Both a Macy’s outlet and the Urban League complex, which would include a civil rights museum as well as affordable rental housing andcommercial space, are drawing criticism from minority-owned businesses that would displaced by either development.
“Is the National Urban League carrying out its historic mission when it displaces minority entrepreneurs? Shouldn’t they be giving them a hand instead?” state Sen. Bill Perkins told DNAinfo. “They created a place where other people want to be but now they can’t be there themselves.”
NY1 also is reporting that residents are upset about the Macy’s plan because of racial discrimination allegations against the retailer. Macy’s has categorically denied any accusations of profiling.
“It is confirmed, Macy’s is committed to be an anchor at the new development,” Lloyd Williams, of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, told NY1. “We find that a number of the local merchants, too many of them of color, are also going to be kicked out of that site.” [NY1 and DNAinfo] – Hiten Samtani