Teitelbaum’s revised Harlem project off to flying start

Developer adds senior housing, meets with pol who denied him last year

Bruce Teitelbaum and a rendering of One45 at West 145th Street
Bruce Teitelbaum and a rendering of One45 at West 145th Street (Getty, Rendering via Pointsfive)

Who can say if Bruce Teitelbaum has found a miracle, but the second time around for his controversial Harlem project is getting some love from the local community board.

The 915-unit project — killed last year by the neighborhood’s socialist City Council member — was praised by the board’s land use committee when it was presented Thursday, Patch reported.

Teitelbaum has retooled it since the board and Kristin Richardson Jordan deemed its rents too high for Harlem, even though its affordability was unprecedented for a private, mixed-income development under the city’s inclusionary housing law.

Like the old one, the revamped design for One45, at West 145th Street and Lenox Avenue, has two towers, but adds an eight-story building between them for low-income seniors. That allows the developer to tap into a different subsidy stream and add affordability, giving Jordan political cover to approve it.

Zeckendorf Development and Atlas Capital are using a similar approach at 570 Washington Street on the West Side.

Jordan came under fire for demanding so much low-income housing at the site — which consisted of an empty lot, headquarters for the Rev. Al Sharpton’s nonprofit, a chicken joint and other low-scale retail — that Teitelbaum was forced to withdraw his rezoning application rather than commit to a money-losing development.

He then opened a truck stop, fulfilling a vow to use the site in a manner allowed by its zoning.

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“Our truck depot is fully operational and the demand is more than we can accommodate,” he told The Real Deal on Monday. “It is bustling.”

But Teitelbaum has said all along that he prefers to build housing, a sentiment echoed by Mayor Eric Adams — albeit too late to save the first iteration of the project. Its defeat, however, spurred efforts that led to the approval of three other major mixed-income housing developments, in Throggs Neck and Astoria.

The developer and Jordan met last month after a protracted standoff, which Teitelbaum had blamed on the Council member’s refusal to engage. Jordan faces several challengers in June’s Democratic primary, but will still be in office when the rezoning comes to the Council for a vote.

That presents a risk to Teitelbaum, but he is betting that she will be more amenable to the project, given the added senior housing and the chance to get rid of the truck depot, against which she recently led a demonstration.

Should Jordan again prove intractable, City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams could push the chamber to override her — a threat that was effective in getting rezonings through for the Bruckner Boulevard and Innovation QNS projects.

In the new design for One45, the senior housing would replace Sharpton’s offices and a proposed civil rights museum that he supported. The influential TV commentator last year neglected to rally support for the project, although it was to include not only the museum but spiffy new headquarters for his organization.

Sharpton and Teitelbaum, a former chief of staff to Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani, never came to terms. Teitelbaum split with Giuliani years ago and has since registered as a Democrat. He is married to Suri Kasirer, who runs the top-grossing lobbying firm in New York City.

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