It’s been a long time coming, but it looks like the end is near for Harlem’s crumbling Renaissance Ballroom & Casino at 138th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. New York YIMBY spotted new building permits for the site, as well as renderings of what’s to come. The full block-long structure, built in the early 1920s as a party hall and theater, will be entirely razed, and an 8-story, 134-unit building designed by GF55 Partners will take its place. And it will be called, ugh, The Renny, to “honor” (quotes ours) the building’s history.
The Abyssinian Development Corporation bought the site decades ago, but earlier this year, BRP Development Corporation paid $10 million for the property, according to public records. It’s unclear if the project will be moving forward as a partnership, or if BRP has taken full control.
In addition to 115,000 square feet of apartments, the new building will have 22,000-square-foot church (likely for the Abyssinian Baptist Church) and two commercial spaces measuring a total of 18,000 square feet. Given that BRP focuses on affordable housing, it’s likely that the new building will be mostly below market rate. YIMBY dug up old plans for the site, which called for retaining the original structure and building an 80/20, 14-story building on top.
None of the involved parties have confirmed anything and the Department of Buildings is still reviewing the plans, but even so, it’s looking pretty likely that this is what will replace a piece of Harlem’s history.