The developer behind a scrapped mixed-use housing project in Harlem — which he converted into a truck depot – has revived those plans, telling the local councilmember critical to the project that he wants to engage in “direct talks with no preconditions.”
On Thursday, Bruce J. Teitelbaum, the developer behind the so-called “One45 Harlem For All” project on West 145th Street near Lenox Avenue, refiled plans for the project, which includes two towers containing a total of 915 apartments. Half of those units will be kept affordable. Teitelbaum had sought to redevelop the site, which includes the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network headquarters, for years.
The refiling for the roughly $700 million project comes months after Teitelbaum had pulled the plug on it following concerns from local Councilmember Kristin Richardson Jordan, who wanted the apartments to be strictly and deeply affordable.
Teitelbaum, who had not been seeking city subsidies for the previous project, instead opened a truck depot that has not been well received by the community.
Richardson Jordan’s stance on the project is critical to its advancement because of the Council’s unwritten rule on member deference, in which members typically get behind a position taken by a colleague when it comes to large-scale projects in a given district. Mayor Eric Adams has supported the project, which comes amid a citywide housing crisis.
Teitelbaum said the truck depot on the vacant site will remain open. The depot's opening drew the attention of state Attorney General Letitia James, who warned Teitelbaum that it could potentially violate state and local truck idling laws.
“Air pollution is one of the most significant environmental threats to New Yorkers, contributing to approximately 6% of deaths annually,” James wrote in a letter to Teitelbaum last month. “Of particular concern, the surrounding neighborhood already suffers from a high rate of child hospitalization associated with pollution-induced asthma.
In a letter addressed to Richardson Jordan, Teitelbaum called on the councilmember to “join me in direct talks with no preconditions, no ultimatums or rigid demands ... So that we can try to find a resolution to the issues that divide us by choosing the path of reconciliation and understanding."
“I realize that you remain opposed to One45 Harlem For All, nonetheless, unless we quickly engage in meaningful dialogue, progress toward a solution is unlikely," Teitelbaum wrote to Richardson Jordan.
Richardson Jordan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.