Teitelbaum slaps Sharpton with legal notice at Harlem HQ

Renewal dispute comes on heels of scuttled 917-unit development

Bruce Teitelbaum, 106 West 145th Street and Al Sharpton (Getty, Google Maps)
Bruce Teitelbaum, 106 West 145th Street and Al Sharpton (Getty, Google Maps)

Rarely has a lease renewal been so tense.

Al Sharpton wants a new deal for his nonprofit, the National Action Network, at 106 West 145th Street in Harlem. The New York Post reported Sharpton and NAN were on the receiving end of a legal notice from landlord Lenox By the Bridge LLC over rent payments and the lease for the space.

A lawyer for the LLC that owns the building said it was working with NAN and Sharpton to resolve the dispute. Sharpton told the outlet his nonprofit is up to date on rent and cited a potential lease renewal for its headquarters as the impetus for the dispute.

The drama is unfolding at a Harlem building owned by Bruce Teitelbaum and partners. Teitelbaum hoped to tear it down and develop a 917-unit mixed-use property, but the project was killed in part by opposition from a local council member, which Sharpton did little to dissuade.

During the public review, Sharpton backed away from the project and looked to move to Don Peebles’ “Affirmation Tower” proposed for 418 11th Avenue. The West Side project has been in jeopardy in recent months, remaining up in the air when state officials earlier this year revoked a request for proposals.

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The relationship between Sharpton and the building’s ownership reportedly soured during the development proposal process.

Sharpton seems to be itching for a new deal with Teitelbaum so NAN can stay put. But Teitelbaum’s big development dreams for the property will likely never garner the support of City Council member Kristin Richardson Jordan, which could lead Teitelbaum to build a smaller, market-rate residential project that won’t require a rezoning.

One person familiar told the Post the dispute will do no favors for Teitelbaum’s larger aspirations at the site.

“Bruce and the project needs every and all relevant relationships with stakeholders required to get this over the finish line: The councilmember, the city council speaker, Rev. Al and the community,” the source said.

— Holden Walter-Warner