City inks contracts to redevelop pair of 125th Street sites

July 13, 2011 01:51PM

Renderings of CREATE @ Harlem taking over the old Taystee Bakery complex

The city’s Economic Development Corporation selected three companies to redevelop two historic Harlem sites into more than 350,000 square feet of commercial and industrial space, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office announced today. The larger of the two sites, the Taystee Bakery complex that comprises six buildings on 125th and 126th streets near Amsterdam Avenue, will be developed by Janus Partners and Manodnock Construction. The $100 million project, called CREATE @ Harlem, will create 328,000 square feet of manufacturing, office, retail and community space, and is expected to house locally-based businesses including the Harlem Brewing Company, HerFlan bakery, and the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center. The latter of the three tenants is a non-profit promoter of local manufacturers, and as per the company’s mission, will lease its space to small manufacturing and artisan companies. Previously, the site was bought by Citarella, but the company never pursued the wholesale improvements the city sought, and as a result was the subject of a lawsuit.

Similarly, the second site up for redevelopment, the Corn Exchange Building at East 125th Street and Park Avenue, was re-acquired by the city after a plan for a culinary school at the landmarked property failed. The city commissioned 125th Street Equities LLC to perform a $16 million rehabilitation of the 128-year-old building into 31,000 square feet of office and retail space, under constant review of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. All told, the two projects, which were made possible by a massive rezoning of the area in 2008, will generate some 570 construction jobs and 530 permanent jobs. “We rezoned 125th Street to strengthen the famed Harlem corridor and enhance its historic role as a vibrant arts, entertainment and retail center. These two developments are the latest examples of how well it’s working,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “The private sector commitments represent an enormous vote of confidence in Harlem’s future and 125th Street’s ongoing role in the area’s revitalization.” — Adam Fusfeld