State board OKs controversial Urban League complex in Harlem

November 21, 2013 11:05AM

The state Public Authorities Control Board gave unanimous approval to the Empire State Development Corporation’s $225 million National Urban League complex in Harlem yesterday. The project will include a civil rights museum, affordable housing and commercial space.

Construction at 125th Street, between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Malcolm X boulevards, would begin after the expiration of tenants’ leases in 2015. State officials said the businesses currently occupying the site can apply for a low-interest loan for relocation services. But lawsuits might still delay the complex.

State Senator Bill Perkins of Harlem has been a staunch opponent of the project and has said he may sue to protect businesses he said are being pushed out, according to a report from the New York Daily News.

The businesses could still be selected to occupy the revamped retail space after the complex is finished, Urban League attorney Charles Hamilton told the News. Macy’s was rumored to be taking up space there, but denied that earlier this month.  [NYDN]Mark Maurer