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


Joe’s Crab Shack to open first city location in Harlem on July 30

Joe’s Crab Shack, a Texas-based chain, is coming to Harlem. What’s next, Red Lobster? Actually, that’s not a joke. Red Lobster is coming next.

Harlem is about to go on a seafood diet.

jcspolesignlogoJoe’s Crab Shack will open July 30 on W. 125th and Frederick Douglass Blvd., the first city location for the Texas-based, national seafood chain known for its buckets of southern-style crab and lobster bakes.

The first 100 piscivores through the door at the opening will get free crabs for a year. And one lucky diner will get the biggest catch: free crabs for life.

 The grand opening will double as a fundraiser. Joe’s patrons who donate to Autism Speaks will get coupons for key lime pie, crab nachos or the Classic Steampot redeemable on a future visit.

Joe’s is the most recent big chain to drop anchor uptown, following Designer Shoe Warehouse, Blink Fitness, and Whole Foods.

And Red Lobster plans to open next to the Apollo Theater, though its opening date remains unannounced.

For now, Joe’s is the only big fish plying Harlem’s waters — and the restaurant’s president is looking forward to taking the uptown plunge.

“Harlem is such a vibrant neighborhood,” said Jim Mazany. “We can’t wait to bring Joe’s brand of excitement — along with great southern seafood — to the area.”

Joe’s Crab Shack, 2349 Frederick Douglass Blvd. and 125th St. in Harlem, (212) 222-0445, opening July 30, 11 a.m.-midnight. For info, visit http://www.joescrabshack.com.


Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/uptown/joe-crab-shack-open-harlem-article-1.1406735#ixzz2a1AaGZsb

American Eagle Joins Whole Foods in Harlem

American Eagle will be expanding in Harlem.

ae_logoThe preppy teen retailer has signed a deal for an 8,500-square-foot lease at 100 West 125th Street, the brand’s most northern location in the city. American Eagle will join Burlington Coat Factory and Whole Foods in the soon-to-be-built development on the corner of Malcolm X Boulevard and 125th Street.

The project is a venture of Jeff Sutton-led Wharton Properties. The prominent retail developer is behind many prime locations in the city such as 724 Fifth Avenue, 720 Fifth Avenue, 1551 Broadway, 15 West 34th Street, and 747 Madison Avenue, among many others.

100 West 125th Street is the latest to come to Harlem and will span the entire block between 124th and 125th Streets on Malcolm X Boulevard, otherwise known as Lenox Avenue. The development will feature 180,000 square feet of retail space in which Whole Foods will take 39,000 square feet on the ground and lower levels and Burlington Coat Factory will take 70,000 square feet on the top three floors.

Construction is expected to start in May with store openings in 2015. Not only will American Eagle be opening their first location in Harlem, but it will be Whole Foods’ first as well. The grocery store is on expansion mode, opening two locations in Brooklyn and crawling up Manhattan island with a location on the Upper East Side at 87th Street and 3rd Avenue and now Harlem.

The asking rent was $160 per square foot and the 15 year lease should bring in $30 million, the Post reported.

New York City Prime exclusively represented American Eagle in their expansion. Jeff Sutton represented himself on behalf of his development company.

By Michael Ewing 3/01 4:00pm

Whole Foods To Open in Harlem and Upper East Side

MANHATTAN — New Whole Foods stores are coming to Harlem and the Upper East Side, officials announced Tuesday.

The eagerly anticipated 39,000-square-foot Harlem store, at 125th Street and Lenox Avenue, is slated to open in a new building in the summer of 2015, said Christina Minardi, regional president of Whole Foods Market’s Northeast Region.

On the Upper East Side, the new 38,000-square-foot market will be built into an existing space at East 87th Street and Third Avenue. It could open as soon as early 2014, Minardi said.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing Whole Foods Market to both of these exciting, vibrant and community-focused neighborhoods,” Minardi said in a statement.

The new arrivals will bring the total number of Manhattan Whole Foods stores to nine.

DNAinfo.com New York first wrote about the Harlem Whole Foods last spring.

In June 2011, Fairway opened at 240 E. 86th St., between Second and Third avenues.

Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20121016/central-harlem/whole-foods-open-harlem-upper-east-side#ixzz29c64QCAN

Harlem group cooks up meet-and-greet confab aimed at showing off uptown hospitality

Harlem Park To Park sets up gathering with industry bigs to advance area as all-around entertainment hub

Harlem Park to Park logo will be displayed at restaurants participating in the Fall Harlem Restaurant and Retail week starting Oct. 1 and running through Oct. 15.

In a nod to the neighborhood’s explosive growth as an all-around entertainment destination, giants in the city’s restaurant, hotel and culinary service industries will gather at Harlem’s Studio Museum next week for uptown’s first hospitality and culinary conference.

Organized by the civic/business group Harlem Park To Park and sponsored by American Express, Whole Foods and City College, the Wednesday, Oct. 10, conference is meant not only to introduce the downtown hospitality industry executives to Harlem, but also to expand Harlem’s brand in the city, said Harlem P2P’s Executive Director Nikoa Evans-Hendricks.

Nikoa Evans-Hendricks, executive director of Harlem Park to Park, says the conference is meant not only to introduce the downtown hospitality industry executives to Harlem, but also to expand Harlem’s brand in the city.

Nikoa Evans-Hendricks, executive director of Harlem Park to Park, says the conference is meant not only to introduce the downtown hospitality industry executives to Harlem, but also to expand Harlem’s brand in the city.

“Harlem has a thriving hospitality industry which includes a whole array of local and international cuisines, star chefs and celebrity chefs,” Evans-Hendricks said. “We want to position ourselves as a legitimate hospitality and culinary industry in the city, and be included in the city hierarchy in that industry.

“But we are very insular up here, so we need to get some feedback from outside,” she said. “We want to establish relationships with these people so we can integrate Harlem into the larger hospitality and culinary scene.”

Confirmed conference attendees include celebrity chef Roble Ali, Rosa Mexicano founder Douglas Griebel, hotel developer R. Donahue Peebles, as well as representatives from the Meat Packing District Association, NYC & Company, and the New York City Hospitality Alliance.

“We did some outreach downtown to see if these people would come for the panel,” Evans-Hendricks said. “The response was overwhelmingly positive. I could not believe how quickly we were getting confirmations.”

Nine businessmen and women founded Harlem P2P in 2009 as a way to develop marketing plans that would promote each other’s businesses.

The group now has nearly 60 members of all races and ethnicities whose common bond is they work in the group’s geological boundaries — Central Park on the south, Marcus Garvey Park on the East, Morningside Park on the West, and 125th/ 130th St. on the north.

That area is one of the hottest for development in the city, with enough high-end residential buildings and restaurants to qualify it “as Harlem’s Meat Packing District or Soho,” Evans-Hendricks said.

“This area has the largest concentration of premier businesses in Harlem,” she said. “What makes it special is that you also have the neighborhood’s highest concentration of luxury condos and luxury rentals, and people moving in have more disposable income.

“In years past Harlem has been marketed as one gigantic neighborhood, but when you do that something is lost,” Evans-Hendricks said. “Harlem, just like any other part of Manhattan, has been segmented over the years. Which means you need a different strategy to market this neighborhood.”

Evans-Hendriks holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellog School of Management. She was co-owner of an apparel store, N Boutique, in Harlem when Harlem Park to Park formed. She has been executive director since 2010.

Harlem small business owners have long faced a problem keeping dollars in the neighborhood; residents often see “going out” as heading into lower Manhattan, or at least below 110th St., to spend their entertainment dollars.

Harlem P2P aims to keep them and their dollars local with events that duplicate lower Manhattan festivities. For instance, the Fall Harlem Restaurant and Retail week starts Oct. 1 and runs through Oct. 15. (There is also a Spring session.) Participating restaurants display the Harlem P2P logo.

Seventeen participating restaurants, and seven participating retail shops, will offer prix fix menu items for $20.12. “The price is always the year,” Evans-Hendricks said. “Last year everything was $20.11.”

Harlem P2P will kick off its Third Annual Harlem Harvest Festival on Oct. 6 on St. Nicholas Ave. between 116th and 117th Sts.

Earlier this year the group hosted a ‘Battle of the Avenues’ competition between businesses on Lenox Ave. and Frederick Douglass Blvd. A “Battle of the Bars” earlier this year saw 10 of the areas bars compete to create the best cocktail using a newly introduced vodka.

The bar 67 Orange Street won that competition.

The culinary and hospitality conference runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Studio Museum of Harlem, 144 W. 125th St. Tickets are $25 and can be ordered online at at hp2pconference2012.eventbrite.com.

For more information see the Harlem Park to Park Facebook page.


Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/harlem-group-cooks-meet-and-greet-confab-aimed-showing-uptown-hospitality-article-1.1171011?pgno=1#ixzz28CIdgtal

More Than Just Bread

Credit: Fastily/WikiMedia

For a late summer outing, the Echoing Green team recently made an exciting site visit to 2008 Echoing Green Fellow Jessamyn Waldman’s Hot Bread Kitchen. Located in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, in historic La Marqueta, Hot Bread Kitchen does not just contain the ingredients for delicious bread, but Jessamyn has developed a recipe for success for the women who work there.

Immediately walking into La Marqueta—a historic city-owned retail market—the smell of fresh bread greets you. Welcomed by HBK’s staff and bakers, we toured La Marqueta, discovering that the marketplace was once the center of Hispanic Harlem during its heyday in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Over 500 vendors operated out of La Marqueta at one point, serving as an important social and economic lynchpin for the community. Sadly, the following decades left La Marqueta neglected, but with HBK locating there in 2010, Jessamyn explained how she hoped her organization could serve as the catalyst to revive the historic market.

Our first stop within HBK’s operations was its “incubator,” a place where female entrepreneurs can rent subsidized kitchen space to start and grow their catering and food businesses. This is just one example we learned of HBK serving the surrounding community and supporting female entrepreneurship.

As the tour progressed, the EG staff were eager to roll up their sleeves and lend a hand in the kitchen. HBK’s star bakers, Marie Poison and Lutfunnessa Islam instructed the staff on how to make their most popular bread called m’smen. This buttery, flaky Moroccan flatbread traditionally is rolled out and folded, then cooked on a griddle. As we all got our hands messy, rolling out dough, Marie and Lutfunnessa explained how HBK not only is an employer, but a unique organization that invests in its bakers. By providing essential bakery, food supervisory and production skills, in addition to weekly English lessons, we learned more about how HBK looks to not just employ, but actively place their bakers at prominent, high wage jobs at other restaurants and bakeries. In fact, Jessamyn even told us that a few of their bakers have gone on to plan or open small businesses themselves. This assistance that combines a successful mix of employment, training and placement, truly makes HBK’s model bold, innovative, and economically empowering for their female bakers. To date, HBK has had a big impact, employing dozens of women, therefore serving as a powerful workforce pipeline for one of the city’s most important industries.

The visit to HBK was extremely special as Echoing Green’s staff has few opportunities to make on-site visits to Fellows’ organizations. This experience truly renewed and reinforced how central our work is behind the scenes, as we assist our Fellows to make their visions a reality. Out of our trip, we realized that HBK’s phenomenal breads are not just amazingly delicious, but each bread (m’smen, challah, European artisan loafs, etc.) carries a meaning to them as well. The recipes, shared by HBK’s bakers, tell a story of cultural diversity, perseverance and immigrant aspiration. Fortunately, you don’t need to only visit HBK to understand these amazing women’s stories and to enjoy their bread; HBK products are now sold at Whole Foods and a number of other markets across the city.

A special thank you again from Echoing Green’s staff to Jessamyn and the HBK staff for a fantastic visit!


[Source: Echoing Green]