Dattner Architects files plan for long-dormant Harlem site

98,000-square-foot building to be Boys & Girls Club of Harlem’s new home, residential rental
By Julie Strickland | February 25, 2014 02:20PM

After decades languishing unused, a former school building at 523-525 West 145th Street in Harlem is finally puttering toward a future as a residential rental building and home of the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem.

Dattner Architects filed an application for a change in occupancy/use on the site, which is currently home to a five-story, 97,895-square-foot structure that was constructed in 1902. The plan, according to the job description, is to convert the existing five-story public school building from public school to residential use. At the same time, a portion of the building will be reserved for the Boys & Girls Club while adding apartment units above, Dattner employee Patrick Chung confirmed. Project leader Kristen Nelson, a senior associate with the firm, did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Developers have been working with the nonprofit to combine a new home for the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem with residential housing for a number of years, according to past reports. But those efforts have stalled over community disagreements about whether to tear down the existing structure.

As of July the group was in the second phase of securing as much as $10 million in tax credits from the State Historic Preservation Office and had plans to apply for funding from the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development. At last count, $4 million in city funds had been committed to the project, as well as an additional $7 million in traditional financing. Estimates put the total cost of the project at about $40 million, Boys & Girls Club executives told DNAinfo last summer.

Monadnock Construction, which is also developing a 130-unit apartment building with Alloy Development in Dumbo, a 30-unit rental at 306 West 128th Street along with Richman Group Development and a $350 million mixed-use Bronx development with Signature Urban Properties, purchased the building from the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem for $4.25 million in December of 2013, according to city records. Monadnock’s Jens Peter Hansen was not immediately available for comment.