Harlem’s Mount Morris Park historic district heats up

mount-morrisMount Morris Park has evolved into one of Harlem’s most booming neighborhoods, with renovated brownstones selling for more than $3 million and an influx of new commercial tenants.

In 2013, at least six restaurants and cafes either opened and revealed plans to open in the 16-block historic district just west of Marcus Garvey Park. The historic district status, earned in 1971, limits changes to buildings and storefronts. Revised plans are in the works to expand Marcus Garvey Park and therefore remove one traffic lane along Mount Morris Park West.

Throughout the 1960s, Mount Morris Park was known to attract homeless people and drug dealers, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“There was a 10-year period, until 2009, when no new restaurants moved in,” Leah Abraham, co-owner of Italian restaurant Settepani at 196 Lenox Avenue, told the Journal.

About a block north of the district, Whole Foods is expected to arrive at Lenox Avenue between 124th and 125th streets sometime next year. In August, the city donated $4 million to save the 47-foot watchtower at the acropolis at Marcus Garvey Park, located at 18 Mount Morris Park West, as previously reported. [WSJ]Mark Maurer

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