125th Street Revitalization

Last Updated January 28, 2014

NYCEDC is working to strengthen the resurgence of Harlem's "Main Street." 

Overview

NYCEDC is working to help transform 125th Street into a world-class arts, cultural, and entertainment destination and a regional business district. 

This vision and the development framework for this work are set forth in a comprehensive rezoning of 125th Street that was approved by City Council in 2008. The initiatives that NYCEDC is currently undertaking will advance the goals of the rezoning.

Background

NYCEDC, together with the NYC Departments of City Planning, Cultural Affairs, Small Business Services, Housing Preservation & Development, and Transportation, began a comprehensive planning study of 125th Street in December 2003.

The goal of the study was to identify a shared vision and a development framework that would build on and sustain the positive effects of recent development activity along 125th Street.

The study spanned the entire corridor, from the Harlem River to the Hudson River, analyzing aspects such as zoning, arts and culture, transportation, and tourism. An Advisory Committee of more than 100 local stakeholders - including elected officials, community boards, civic groups, and cultural institutions - provided a forum for public outreach and discussion throughout the study.

After more than three years of community engagement, the vision and development framework identified in the study became part of a corridor-wide rezoning proposal. The goals of the rezoning are:

  • To sustain and enhance the ongoing revitalization of 125th Street as a unique "Main Street" in Manhattan;
  • To provide a balanced zoning framework that:
    • Creates incentives for new mixed-use development; and
    • Preserves the scale and character of areas with a strong built context.
  • To support the role of 125th Street as a premiere arts, culture, and entertainment destination and regional business district.

The rezoning proposal began its public review process in January 2007 and was approved by City Council in April 2008.

Mart 125 Redevelopment (260 West 125th Street)

NYCEDC is leading the redevelopment of this City-owned property, working closely with the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone.

The property is located at the core of 125th Street's arts, cultural, and entertainment district, directly across the street from the legendary Apollo Theater, offering a unique opportunity for a complementary destination of arts and culture.

NYCEDC released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the purchase and redevelopment of the property in May 2010. The redevelopment program will include:

  • 12,000-14,000 usable square feet of cultural space to be operated by the  National Jazz Museum in Harlem and Imagenation
  • 800 gross square feet for a ground floor visitors center to be operated by NYC & Company
  • 2,500 gross square feet for a café and/or retail establishment(s), with a preference for local business operators

The remaining floor area may include additional commercial uses.

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