Columbia Professor Develops Affordable Housing Un-Gentrification Project In Harlem

April 5, 2021

Edward Poteat, who for the past nine years has taught “Affordable Housing Financing” at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, is a professor who practices what he teaches.

As the lead developer for Marcus Garvey Village at 224 West 124th Street, he is spearheading the construction a 300,000-square-foot, 18-story mixed-income project with 330 residences, of which 50 percent will be designated affordable income, based on 60 percent of the AMI.

“Students finish my courses with an understanding of how contextual development can provide desirable affordable housing, while still being profitable to build and operate,” points out Poteat. “The takeaway is there are resources to build residential projects that provide benefits for entire communities. Unfortunately for New York City, the most complicated financial structuring is for multi-family developments that are100 percent affordable. But with more 50-50 projects in the pipeline, we can still aspire to greater economic parity in what and where we build.”

Through Carthage Real Estate Advisors, the firm he founded in 1999 to develop affordable and workforce housing in the Tri-State region, Poteat’s newest project celebrates the multi-faceted culture of Harlem, where he grew up. Marcus Garvey Village, which spans more than half a city block, will not only provide affordable housing, it will have features directly benefiting the overall community, such as designated space for the community board (CB10/Manhattan), a rooftop stage and seating for performing artists, and a cultural center for the LGBTQ community.

At the start of the project, Carthage partnered with the West Harlem Development Corporation (WHDC), which contributed $2 million for the affordable housing component. In addition, the developer secured an $80 million construction loan from Bank Leumi.

“Because of a reasonable purchase price, we will be able to structure the development to the benefit of future residents, as well as satisfy our lender and investors,” adds Poteat.

Marcus Garvey Village broke ground in November 2020. The projected date of completion is fall 2022. The affordable-income apartments will be made available to qualified residents through an HPD lottery in early 2022.

About Carthage Real Estate Advisors 

Founded in 1999 by Edward Poteat, Carthage Real Estate Advisors is a leading developer of workforce and affordable income housing in the Tri-State/New York City Area. Carthage works with private investment clients, not-for-profits, and municipalities throughout New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to produce supportive housing development that improves communities and generates much-needed economic development activity. Its portfolio encompasses mixed-income, mixed-use, and affordable preservation projects.

Carthage Real Estate Advisors is a black-owned firm. Its name is historic and come from the ancient African city of Carthage, which was led by Hannibal and challenged the Roman Empire for the supremacy of the Mediterranean region.

Carthage Real Estate Advisors has developed more than 1,500 units of affordable housing with a total budget of nearly $350 million. The firm is recognized for creating and preserving affordable housing through a triple bottom line approach. Its developments are profitable for investors, sensitive to the needs of the local community, and environmentally sustainable.

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