Rental project planned for vacant Harlem lot

By David Jones | January 31, 2008 04:43PM

Jonathan Rose Cos. and Urban Builders Collaborative said they expect to break ground this summer on an environmentally friendly mixed-income project called Kingsgate House, a 185-unit rental building at a long vacant site at Second Avenue and 124th Street.

The developers urged the City Planning Commission to approve to rezone the East Harlem site to allow for denser development. The site includes a mix of private and city-owned land that has been a vacant for more than 20 years.
The property lies just outside the 125th Street district that the city plans to rezone.
Paul Freitag, development studio director for Jonathan Rose, said the developer includes affordable units in “almost all of our properties.”
Kingsgate House would be developed under the city 50/30/20 affordable housing program. The Housing Preservation Development Department program helps finance buildings that offer 50 percent of their units at market rate, while 30 percent are reserved for middle-income tenants and 20 percent for low-income.
The Bloomberg administration has worked to sell or transfer city-owned property, like the East Harlem site, to developers as a way of creating affordable housing.
“One of the ways we can subsidize is not through transfer of funds but transfer of a piece of land,” said HPD spokesman Seth Donlin.
The project would be financed with $65 million in tax exempt bonds, low-income housing tax credits and incentives from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
Kingsgate House will include 8,000 square feet of retail space and 120 underground parking spots. Amenities would include a doorman, concierge and children’s room.
The building’s environmentally-friendly features would include renewable building materials, energy-efficient mechanical and water systems, high-quality air filtration and green roofs.
Community Board 11 has demanded several of these environmental features as part of any zoning changes in East Harlem. In a 2006 statement, the board called for any new project to include underground parking, appropriate air filtration and green open space.

Kingsgate House will aim for silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.