Council Approves Harlem African Burial Ground

The Harlem African Burial Ground, affordable housing, and commercial space will replace the 126th Street Bus Depot.

On September 27, 2017, City Council approved the 126th Street Bus Depot redevelopment by a vote of 42-0. The land use application, by NYC Economic Development Corporation, includes a zoning map amendment, zoning text amendment, city map change, and future disposition of city-owned property. This action will facilitate the development of affordable housing, commercial space, and the Harlem African Burial Ground Memorial. For CityLand’s coverage on the prior stages of the project’s ULURP process, click here.

On September 5, 2017, at the Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions meeting, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito described the project’s history. This project is “the culmination of almost a decade of work.” SELRES_7b87e16a-b7e2-4613-9752-ba9d8640fdc6Reverend Patricia Singletary SELRES_7b87e16a-b7e2-4613-9752-ba9d8640fdc6from the Elmendorf Reformed Church wanted “to properly memorialize her church’s historic African burial ground underneath the 126th Street Bus Depot, which had been forgotten, built upon and disrespected for almost 200 years.” Reverend Singletary approached Speaker Mark-Viverito in 2009, who then helped the Reverend form a group of local stakeholders—community members, city agencies, archaeologists, urban planners, architects, historians—to create the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force “to advocate for the reclamation, preservation and recognition of this sacred cemetery.” Speaker Mark-Viverito commended the efforts of Reverend Singletary and the Harlem Burial Ground Task Force, especially in their ability “to persevere when no one believed the history that they had uncovered.”

18,000 square feet in the Harlem African Burial Ground will be accessible to the public. The Harlem African Burial Ground will also contain an outdoor memorial and an indoor cultural educational center, which must be maintained in perpetuity. The City will work with the developer to ensure the memorial’s future through financial commitment. Speaker Mark-Viverito stated, “The developer will be required to provide an annual contribution of approximately $1 million to support eligible operating costs. The indoor and outdoor spaces will be provided to the memorial operator free of charge.” 20% of the housing units, available at market-rate, will also contribute to the cost of the memorial’s operation. The Speaker added, “The commitments being made today will ensure the history that Reverend Singletary and the task force have rediscovered will never be forgotten again.”

The project will also produce affordable housing. The Council modified the zoning text amendment to apply the deep affordability option instead of Option 2 for Mandatory Inclusionary Housing. 80% of the 730 housing units will be affordable. Half of the units will be affordable for households earning up to 60% of the Average Median Income (“AMI”). 20% of all housing units will be affordable for households earning a maximum of 30% AMI ($25,770 annual income).

Lastly, the redevelopment will produce commercial space. The commercial development has been capped at 138,000 square feet to accommodate the affordable housing demand. The developer will be required to support job training, create a targeted hiring outreach plan, and work with the Economic Development Corporation to meet these local hiring goals.

The application with modifications—ensuring 18,000 square feet of public space and amending the zoning text to reach the deepest affordability levels—unanimously passed through both the Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions and the Committee on Land Use. The City Council honored the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force at the September 27th meeting for “their stellar service and enduring contributions to East Harlem and all of New York City” before unanimously approving the modified land use applications for the project. The site is integral in honoring the story and culture of those who helped build this City and nation.  

CC: 126th Street Bus Depot (LU 0733-2017; LU 0734-2017; LU 0735-2017; LU 0736-2017) (Sept. 27, 2017).

By: Shelby Hoffman (Shelby is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2017.)

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Harlem Meer Performance Festival: Boricua Legends

September 3, 2017 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Salsa Dura/Bailable – Boricua Legends, created by world-renowned percussionist and producer, Pedro “Pocholo” Segundo, is comprised of world-class musicians and singers that cater to an audience that enjoys dancing to the rhythms of salsa dura.

Location:

Charles A. Dana Discovery Center

110th Street and Lenox Avenue
New York NY 10079 US

Link

Harlem Meer Performance Festival: Anthony Morgan Gospel Ensemble

August 27, 2017 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Gospel – Led by the former lead singer of the internationally known Harlem Gospel Choir, the Anthony Morgan Gospel Ensemble presents music that transcends and transforms the human spirit.

Location:

Charles A. Dana Discovery Center

110th Street and Lenox Avenue
New York NY 10079 US

Link

Jazzmobile’s Summerfest at Marcus Garvey Park

August 11, 2017 7:00pm – 8:15pm

Jazzmobile’s Summerfest! – Craig Harris, arranger, composer and trombonist.

When Craig Harris exploded onto the jazz scene in 1976, he brought the entire history of the jazz trombone with him. From the growling gutbucket intensity of early New Orleans music through the refined, articulate improvisation of the modern era set forth by J.J. Johnson, and into the confrontational expressionism of the ’60s avant-garde, Craig handled the total vernacular the way a skilled orator utilizes the spoken word.

Cost: FREE

Location:
Marcus Garvey Park
18 Mount Morris Park West – enter park at 124th St and Fifth Avenue
New York NY 10027 US

22 apartments at 2211 Third Avenue, New York

2211 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10035 East Harlem

Amenities: Doorman, on-site resident manager, elevator, intercom, washer/dryer in each unit, fitness center, roof outdoor public spaces, storage room, bike room and on-site parking.

Transit: Trains: 4/5/6, Buses: M101/M103

No application fee • No broker’s fee • Smoke-free building

 

Harlem Meer Performance Festival: Reuben Wilson Combo Quartet

August 6, 2017 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Jazz – Reuben Wilson was one of few soul-jazz organists to emerge in the late 1960s. His records have been sampled by artists in the newly emerging acid jazz and jazz-rap genres.

Location:

Charles A. Dana Discovery Center

110th Street and Lenox Avenue
New York NY 10079 US

Link

Harlem Meer Performance Festival: The Chris Black Experience

July 30, 2017 2:00pm – 4:00pm  

R&B/Soul – The Chris Black Experience combines instrumental and vocal soul, jazz, and funk. They’ve worked with industry greats in every genre of music, from Regina Belle to Les McCann.

Location:

Charles A. Dana Discovery Center

110th Street and Lenox Avenue
New York NY 10079 US

Link

Harlem Meer Performance Festival: Ola Fresca

July 23, 2017 2:00pm – 4:00pm  

Tropical Latin Salsa – Ola Fresca brings a Latin sound directly from Brooklyn. The band weaves musical bridges connecting Cuban son, salsa, timba, and funk.

Location:

Charles A. Dana Discovery Center

110th Street and Lenox Avenue
New York NY 10079 US

Link

Uptown Bounce Series

Join the Museum of the City of New York and El Museo Del Barrio for our fourth annual Uptown Bounce series of free summer block parties. On four consecutive Wednesday evenings, dance to New York DJs, enjoy gallery talks, tours, art workshops, and savor summer drinks and local food.

Rhythm & Power
Explore the cultural fusion that defines New York style salsa with this fiery mashup of Latin-infused beats from salsa, boogaloo, and merengue to cumbia and Latin disco.

Dates:

July 19, 2017 6:00pm – 9:00pm – Uptown Bounce! Ashé

July 26, 2017 6:00pm – 9:00pm – Uptown Bounce: Hecho en El Barrio

August 2, 2017 6:00pm – 9:00pm – Uptown Bounce: Palo Pa’lante

August 9, 2017 6:00pm – 9:00pm – Uptown Bounce: New Rican Soul

 Cost: FREE

Location Details
El Museo del Barrio New York –
1230 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street,  New York NY 10029 US

Harlem Meer Performance Festival: Elliot Pineiro & Sumbaswing

July 16, 2017 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Latin Jazz

Sumbaswing is a Latin Jazz sextet, led by saxophonist Elliot Pineiro. Active in the tri-state area for more than 20 years, Sumbaswing will have you grooving and dancing to its Afro-Cuban rhythms and jazz harmonies.

Location:

Charles A. Dana Discovery Center

110th Street and Lenox Avenue
New York NY 10079 US

Link