West Harlem Development Corp. Looking to Build on NYCHA’s Grant Houses

HARLEM — The West Harlem Development Corporation wants to build 100 units of affordable housing in NYCHA’s Grant Houses.Kofi Boateng, executive director of the West Harlem Development Corporation, announced a plan to build 100 units of affordable h
The nonprofit tasked with distributing $150 million as part of their community benefits agreement for Columbia University’s expansion into West Harlem, sent a letter of interest to NYCHA on Sept. 18.
“We write to officially express our desire to be considered as a beneficiary of available underutilized land at the General Grant NYCHA housing in West Harlem, NYC, for the purpose of developing affordable housing units,” director Kofi Boateng wrote NYCHA Chair Shola Olatoye.
The letter is not part of an official application to develop, just a letter of interest. The organization is also looking for land in other parts of the neighborhood, Boateng said.
He announced the development, part of a larger plan to leave a lasting legacy in West Harlem, during a Community Board 9 meeting in September while asking for their support.

The Housing Authority rolled out their “Infill Neighborhood” plan earlier this summer. Under the program developers would be able to build housing in order to bring more revenue to the cash-strapped agency.

So far only two developments — Wyckoff Gardens in Brooklyn and Holmes Towers in the Upper West Side — have been selected for new developments.

Boateng said he had been working with tenant associations in both Grant and Manhattanville houses.

NYCHA confirmed they received the letter but have not issued a response and did not answer questions about their plans for Grant Houses. The Community Board did not respond to questions about the letter of interest.

By Gustavo Solis | September 30, 2015
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