Artspace set to unveil $52M Harlem affordable housing project

Median incomes in neighborhood will help determine rents for 90 units

213-215 East 99th Street and rendering
213-215 East 99th Street and rendering

Minneapolis-based nonprofit Artspace is almost done retrofitting the former P.S. 109 school building in East Harlem into an affordable housing complex for artists.

Workers are removing the scaffolding from the $52.2 million project, which will hold 90 affordable-housing units, the Wall Street Journal reported. The project has the support of the city Department of Housing, Preservation and Development, as well as the federal government, which contributed $24 million low-income housing tax credits. Artspace, which co-developed the site with Operation Fightback of El Barrio, paid $1 for it in 2012 – roughly 17 years after the school shuttered.

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The apartments will be studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms, ranging from 500 square feet to 1,000 square feet. Percentages of the median incomes in East Harlem will factor into determining the rents, the Journal reported, citing the housing department.

Construction began on the 115,000-square foot building at 213-215 East 99th Street and Third Avenue in October 2012. In addition to the residential component, a cultural event space will take up 15,000 square feet.

Artspace has developed 35 comparable projects in the U.S., and owns about 1,000 apartment units in total. [WSJ]Mark Maurer