A city project to construct a massive mixed-use development on the site of a former bus depot in East Harlem has been approved by the City Planning Commission, making it one step away from completing the public review process.
Last week the CPC unanimously voted to support a proposal from the New York City Economic Development Corporation to rezone the entire city block on East 126th Street between First and Second avenues to accommodate a development containing up to 655,215 square feet of residential space, 315,000 square feet of commercial space, 30,000 square feet of community space and 18,000 square feet dedicated to an outdoor memorial on the site of a former African burial ground dating back to the 17th century, city officials said.
Including parking, the entire development would span 1,090,215 square feet, according to an Environmental Impact Statement.
The development — which the EDC has dubbed the “126th Street African Burial Ground Memorial and Mixed-Use Project” — has been in the works since 2015 when the city formed The Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force and Bus Depot Task Force to create a proposal that would both honor the site’s history and meet the housing and jobs needs of East Harlem, according to the city EDC.
A spokesman for the EDC called the CPC vote a “major step” forward for the project.
“Today’s vote marks another major step towards building a permanent memorial for the historic Harlem African Burial Ground and providing affordable housing and jobs for East Harlem residents. We are grateful to receive the support of the City Planning Commission and look forward to continuing to work with Speaker Mark-Viverito, the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force, and other community leaders to make this project a reality,” EDC spokesman Anthony Hogrebe said in a statement.