East Harlem may be experiencing a renaissance, but the stretch of Park Avenue covered by the elevated Metro-North Railroad tracks remains inhospitable and littered with vacant lots. Now, development may be coming to a barren stretch at 1516 Park Avenue, between 110th and 111th streets.
The site is on the market, and it comes with plans and a design from Karl Fischer. New building applications filed back in December of 2014 call for a 12-story building with 44 apartments, a substantial retail space, and a small community facility. It would break down into 37,931 square feet of residential space, 4,742 square feet of commercial space, and a 739-square-foot community facility. The current plans would include seven studios, 19 one-bedrooms, and 18 two-bedrooms. There would also be large, shared outdoor terraces on the second and 12th floors.
The project may not look exactly like this, but the height and number of apartments will likely stay the same under a new developer. If the new owner goes forward with Fischer’s design, the building would be a positive architectural addition to the hood. The area’s skyline is dominated by a drab collection of public housing towers, including Johnson Houses, King Towers, Jefferson Houses, and Taft Houses. The retail in the building would also bring new life and pedestrian traffic to a fairly dead block.
Williamsburg-based developer Isaac Schwartz is the owner right now. He picked up the two lots for a combined $5,800,000 in 2014, and now he’s trying to unload them for $11,250,000. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s $231 per buildable square foot. And the price has actually decreased since the lot hit the market last fall, with an asking price of $12,500,000.