Harlem Apartment Project Nixed in Favor of Truck Depot

After a proposal for a mixed-use development failed to gain support from a local city councilmember, the developer turned the site into a truck storage depot, prompting concerns over air quality and health impacts.

1 minute read

January 20, 2023, 5:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

After a local councilwoman protested a proposed housing development on a Harlem lot, citing gentrification concerns, the developer chose to use the site for a truck depot instead. “Their fight reflects the challenge of building housing in New York,” write Emma G. Fitzsimmons and Mihir Zaveri in the New York Times.

The proposal, which was supported by Mayor Eric Adams, included over 900 housing units, with 10 percent set aside for households making less than $40,020 per year. Councilwoman Kristin Richardson Jordan “said she would have agreed to the project had Mr. Teitelbaum agreed to include more homes that were affordable to people with lower incomes — making a fifth of the apartments available to families of four earning $40,020 per year, for example, and reserving half of the apartments for families of four earning up to about $80,040.” Jordan called her proposal “an extreme compromise” that would still result in massive profits for the developer.

The decision to replace the proposed apartment tower with truck parking raises the stakes of New York’s already tense debate over housing, with neighbors accusing developer Bruce Teitelbaum of intentionally causing harm with the polluting, noisy facility. Teitelbaum says he is considering other options for the lot that would not require city approval, like a smaller apartment building or a self storage facility.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023 in The New York Times

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