Harlem Renaissance site making way for resi development

"The Renny" would bring 134 residential units to West 138th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.
November 24, 2014 02:10PM

The demolition of the Renaissance Casino and Ballroom — along with construction of a new building on the site — could spur projects in a Harlem neighborhood where the pace of development has lagged that in nearby areas.

The landmark at the corner of West 138th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard has sat vacant for three decades. BRP Development bought the site earlier this year for $15 million from the Abyssinian Development Corporation. The developer has plans to build luxury condos on the property, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The historic site — which spans the entire block — once housed a YWCA, a theater and dormitories, as well as a ballroom where former New York City Mayor David Dinkins was married. Some local residents have warned that the construction of a new building on the property will remove an important part of the neighborhood’s history — and will cause the African-American population in the area to dwindle further, the newspaper reported.

The development at the site has been named “The Renny.” It will house approximately 134 apartments, with 20 percent priced at below-market rate for families that make less than $51,540 a year. The project will also include an 18,000-square-foot retail space.

Development financing for the project hasn’t been secured yet, according to the newspaper. [WSJ] — Claire Moses