The Olnick Organization has modified proposals to construct five new towers within the Lenox Terrace residential complex in Central Harlem. These changes arrive just days before a scheduled review by the City Planning Commission in response to opposition from the local Community Board 10 and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.
The original proposals sought to rezone the area to facilitate the construction of commercial buildings, in an effort to create new businesses within one of the longest existing residential complexes in Harlem. Residents, however, feared that the introduction of commercial buildings to the complex, specifically a large podium structure, could water down the cultural and historic significance of Lenox Terrace.
New applications include proposals to both upzone the area and establish a commercial overlay. In other words, The Olnick Organization would be able to construct slightly taller buildings with a greater number of apartments or an increase in allowable density.
Specific plans still include the construction of five 28-story residential towers that would introduce 1,600 new apartment units. Approximately 400 to 500 apartments would be designated affordable in compliance with the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing standards. Modified retail area would measure 160,000 square feet. The project would also create six acres of green space and a mix of amenities available to all Lenox Terrace residents.
“We appreciate the feedback we have received from residents, Community Board 10, and the Borough President,” said Seth Schochet, president of The Olnick Organization. “We believe this input has resulted in a better plan for Lenox Terrace, its residents, and the community, and we look forward to continuing this productive dialog in the weeks ahead.”
The plan is currently under consideration by the City Planning Commission, which is expected to vote in early February. Construction was originally expected to break ground this fall and open to the public by 2023. It’s unclear whether these modifications have affected the publicized construction schedule.