Council member who killed One45 won’t run

Kristin Richardson Jordan not seeking re-election, she says on Instagram

Kristin Richardson Jordan and One45

Kristin Richardson Jordan and One45 (Getty, Rendering via Pointsfive)

A controversial project in Harlem was the focal point of the neighborhood’s City Council race. But the project’s biggest critic is unexpectedly taking herself out of the running.

Council member Kristin Richardson Jordan, who opposed developer Bruce Teitelbaum’s One45, announced on Instagram Tuesday morning that she will not seek re-election.

“Unfortunately I am writing this to inform you that I have decided not to seek re-election and not to commit to another two years,” she wrote. “…As always, whether in a seat or not in a seat, I am here and look forward to continuing to fight alongside you for community care, economic justice, abolition, liberation, and radical societal change.”

A representative from her office confirmed the message.

The City Council primary in June was expected to be a referendum on Jordan’s role in killing the first iteration of the project, which has since been refiled.

Construction unions, whose members would have worked on the $700 million One45 project, cheered Jordan’s decision to leave office at year’s end.

“For once, Council member Kristin Richardson Jordan is doing the right thing for her constituents,” said carpenters union official Joseph Geiger in a statement. “While she quit before formally losing her re-election, the message it sends is still the same: you cannot win re-election in New York City if you are against union jobs and affordable housing.”

Jordan supports affordable housing, but demanded so much of it at One45 that the project would have been impossible to finance, its backers said.

Her spokesperson sent over a list of “actual affordable housing” that was approved under Jordan, including Timbale Terrace at 119th Street and Park Avenue, which will include 341 affordable units, 99 of which are set aside for the formerly homeless.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Nearly one year ago, Teitelbaum withdrew his application for a two-tower project on West 145th Street and Lenox Avenue. Jordan, who as the local Council member had de facto veto power over the rezoning Teitelbaum needed, had rejected his last-ditch proposal to set aside half of the apartments as below market-rate.

The developer then opened a truck depot on the site, underscoring what the Adams administration had called a “missed opportunity” to add 917 units of mixed-income housing. In February, Teitelbaum rebooted One45, adding an eight-story building between the two towers to house low-income seniors.

Initial reaction from the community board to the revamped proposal was positive.

Reached for comment about Jordan’s decision not to seek a second term, Teitelbaum said in a statement, “I look forward to working with whomever the people of Harlem elect so that together we can build a great project.”

His rezoning application is likely to come before the City Council early next year, meaning its fate will be primarily decided by whoever wins this year’s Democratic primary.

The June 27 election is expected to be competitive, even without Jordan. Candidates include Assembly member Al Taylor, Assembly member Inez Dickens and Yusef Salaam, who is new to politics but is an author, activist and one of the Central Park Exonerated Five. Dickens held the Council seat before Perkins and owns rental property in Harlem.

In 2021, Jordan, running on a far-left platform she occasionally described as “radical,” narrowly beat incumbent Bill Perkins, who was in declining health. On Tuesday, just as news was spreading about Jordan’s Instagram post, Perkins’ wife announced that the former Council member and state senator had died, Patch reported.

During a candidates’ forum in April, the challengers said they would take different approaches to the One45 development than the incumbent, CBS News reported. Jordan did not participate in the event. 

This month, a truck was spotted at the project site with digital screens displaying a picture of Jordan and calling attention to her representation of the district. Large letters spelled out, “Have you seen this person?”

Read more

New York
Building leverage: The labor groups that shape NYC’s skyline
New York
A Harlem real estate drama worthy of Hollywood
Bruce Teitelbaum; West 145th Street and Lenox Avenue (Getty, Google Maps)
New York
Bruce Teitelbaum reboots controversial Harlem project
Recommended For You