CPC approves E. Harlem Plan

EDC expects to choose developer before Council vote. On August 27, 2008, the City Planning Commission approved a plan sponsored by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the NYC Economic Development Corporation to redevelop a six-acre site in East Harlem. The plan seeks to create 1.7 million sq.ft. of mixed use development on 5.5 acres, roughly bounded by East 125th and East 127th Streets between Second and Third Avenues. 3 CityLand 59 (Nov. 15, 2006).

At the Planning Commission’s July 23 public hearing, the District Manager of Community Board 11 and Anthony Borelli, Director of Land Use for Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, expressed opposition based on EDC’s election to begin the ULURP process without first selecting a developer. 5 CityLand 105 (Aug. 15, 2008). They asserted that EDC’s decision to select a developer after the Community Board and the Borough President’s respective deadlines for comment expired will have stripped them of their opportunity to comment on the plan before it reached the Planning Commission. Borelli suggested that EDC be named Lead Agency instead of HPD. The change would trigger section 384(b)(4) of the City Charter, and would require the Manhattan Borough Board to approve the disposition of City-owned property to EDC; in effect, the community would have a chance to review the plan after EDC selected a developer.

Although a developer still had not yet been selected on August 27, 2008, the Planning Commission approved HPD’s plan, with only Commissioner Karen A. Phillips voting no. The Commission found that most issues of contention surrounding the plan were outside its purview, and aside from those issues, the plan was appropriate as is. The Commission, in its report, noted that EDC had issued a memorandum on August 7 in response to the issues raised at the hearing which stated, in part, that HPD would remain the lead agency since the plan was primarily an affordable housing project; thus, 384(b)(4) would not be triggered and Borough Board approval would not be required. The EDC memorandum also stated that “the developer designation is expected to occur in early September,” giving the community time to scrutinize the final proposal before Council’s ULURP deadline expires on October 22.

Review Process
Lead Agency:HPD, FEIS
Comm.Bd.: MN 11,Den’d, 30-0-0
CPC: App’d, 8-1-0
Council: App’d, 45-5-1

CPC: East 125th Street Development (C 080333 ZMM – rezoning); (C 080331 HAM – UDAAP/disposition); (C 080332 HUM – amend. to URP); (M 850772(D) ZAM – mod. to LSRD); (N 080334 ZCM – spec. transit land use dist. cert.) (August 27, 2008). CITYADMIN

CITYLANDComment:On October 7, 2008, the City Council approved EDC’s plan. EDC announced its selection of developers the same day.

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