Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel and New York City Economic Development Corporation NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky today announced the selection of developers to rehabilitate the former Taystee Bakery Complex and the Corn Exchange Building, both located along the 125th Street commercial corridor in Harlem. The two projects will result in more than 350,000 square feet of new state-of-the-art commercial space and are expected to generate hundreds of millions of dollars of new economic activity in Harlem. The projects will create 530 permanent jobs and 570 construction jobs. NYCEDC selected Janus Partners LLC and Monadnock Construction, Inc. to redevelop the former Taystee Bakery complex into CREATE @ Harlem Green, providing an additional 328,000 square feet of commercial and industrial space to house a number of tenants from creative industries. NYCEDC also selected 125th Street Equities LLC to redevelop the Corn Exchange Building, rehabilitate its landmarked base and add six additional floors for office and retail use. The two sites have each been vacant for several decades and their redevelopment is an important step in the Bloomberg Administration’s ongoing efforts to further revitalize 125th Street.
“We rezoned 125th Street to strengthen the famed Harlem corridor and enhance its historic role as a vibrant arts, entertainment and retail center. These two developments are the latest examples of how well it’s working,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The private sector commitments represent an enormous vote of confidence in Harlem’s future and 125th Street’s ongoing role in the area’s revitalization.”
“The selection of developers for both the former Taystee Bakery Complex and Corn Exchange Building is further proof that our economic development efforts in Harlem are paying off,” said Deputy Mayor Steel. “By rehabilitating these two buildings, Harlem will gain two new state-of-the-art commercial spaces, which will generate hundreds of millions of dollars of economic activity in Harlem.”
“The development of these two sites will create hundreds of new well-paying permanent jobs in Harlem and generate millions of dollars in private investment,” said NYCEDC President Pinsky. “From East to West, momentum is gaining in the revitalization of Harlem, bringing new life and vibrancy to sites that for years had been vacant.”
The CREATE @ Harlem Green development will revitalize and physically transform an underutilized space by creating a state-of-the-art commercial building, while preserving the most of the façades of the original buildings. The building will have entrances on both 125th and 126th Streets, with a pathway from 125th Street leading to an open courtyard on 126th Street and will include ground floor uses that activate the streetscape. Subject to public review and approval, when completed, the $100 million development will include 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space, 90,000 square feet of office space, 40,000 square feet of retail space, and 10,000 square feet of community facility space and will create about 440 permanent jobs and 510 construction jobs.
“As a locally-based West Harlem company, we are thrilled to have been chosen to bring the community’s vision of a master-planned creative hub of commercial and high value-added manufacturing to fruition,” said Scott Metzner, Principal of Janus Partners LLC.
“Our redevelopment of the former Taystee Bakery and Harlem Green will represent one of the most exciting urban job and economic development zones in New York,” said Jerry Salama, Principal of Janus Partners LLC. “Together with our partners Nick Lembo and Kirk Goodrich of Monadnock Construction, we thank the Mayor, EDC and members of the community for their vision and the confidence they have placed in us to execute this exciting plan.”
Several locally-based businesses are expected to relocate or expand to CREATE @ Harlem Green. Harlem Brewing Company, which currently brews in Saratoga Springs, will be moving its production facility to CREATE @ Harlem Green and will also grow hops on an open roof, give tours and operate a brewing museum, a tap room and gift shop. Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center will operate 53,000 square feet of manufacturing space to be leased as 1,000-5,000-square-foot spaces for small manufacturing and artisan companies. HerFlan, currently incubating at the kitchen incubator at La Marqueta, will be expanding and growing their business by establishing a wholesale production facility and retail outlet. Carver Federal Savings Bank, the largest African-American operated bank in the United States, plans to open a banking presence at the new CREATE @ Harlem Green and to participate in the project financing.
“I am thrilled that this development, which is consistent with the vision of the community for this neighborhood, is moving forward. It will re-activate an important site in our community, and bring hundreds of good jobs to the people of Harlem,” said Council Member Robert Jackson. “Thank you to the Mayor and NYCEDC for moving this project forward.”
“Community Board 9 is pleased that this project is moving forward and looks forward to working with Janus to ensure that our community receives the greatest possible benefit,” said Community Board 9 Chair Reverend Georgiette Morgan-Thomas.
“Our company’s heritage is steeped in the history of Harlem,” said Celeste Beatty, Chief Executive Officer, Harlem Brewing Company. “Our Sugar Hill Golden Ale is named after the swinging Harlem neighborhood made famous by musicians in the 1930’s. Since we started our business from scratch in 1996, we have dreamed of a home in Harlem. We are thrilled to work with Janus to build a local Harlem brewery at the former Taystee Bakery Complex. With this move, we will return to our roots.”
“Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center is the premier non-profit industrial developer in New York City, creating and managing spaces for small manufacturing enterprises, artisans and artists in Brooklyn,” said Brian T. Coleman, Chief Executive Officer, Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center. “We are excited about the prospect of bringing our expertise and brand to Harlem, and we look forward to working with Janus to tap the creative energies of Harlem’s artisans and small businesses. New York’s entrepreneurial millworkers, jewelry makers, metalworkers and graphic artists will benefit from a community where their businesses can grow and thrive.”
“Since starting my home-based business baking specialty flan products in 2003, I have grown through the HBK Incubates Program at La Marqueta,” said Sandra Hernandez, Founder and President, HerFlan. “After successful completion of this program, I will open a wholesale facility and a retail component where I can sell to the Harlem community. I am especially excited to participate as I am locally-based, living just two blocks from the Taystee Bakery facility. I welcome the opportunity to set up a business in my neighborhood to make HerFlan products accessible to all in the community.”
The Corn Exchange Building, located on the northwest corner of 125th Street and Park Avenue next to the 125th Street Metro North train station, will be redeveloped by 125th Street Equities LLC. Originally built in 1883 (see photo above), the Corn Exchange Building was designed by the firm of Lamb & Rich, and was given landmark status by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1993. The building is presently vacant and has been in severe disrepair since the late 1970’s. 125th Street Equities LLC will rehabilitate the historic base of the building and reconstruct an additional six floors to restore the building in a manner that is consistent with its landmark status, and all work and any proposed changes to the building will be reviewed and approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The total development will be approximately 31,000 square feet, with 22,000 square feet planned for office space and 9,000 square feet for retail. The $16 million development is expected to create about 90 permanent jobs and 60 construction jobs.
“There’s no better way to preserve a building than to use it, which is why we are thrilled that 125th Street Equities LLC has stepped forward with a plan to rehabilitate the Corn Exchange,” said LPC Chairman Robert B. Tierney. “We look forward to reviewing the project.”
“I am pleased that the Corn Exchange Building will be totally rebuilt,” said Council Member Inez E. Dickens. “This is a significant step in the ongoing revitalization of our Harlem community. I will work closely with NYCEDC and the developer to ensure participation of minority and women-owned businesses and job opportunities for the residents of my community.”
“East Harlem is in need of continued business and workforce development and has been a core goal for Community Board 11,” said Community Board 11 Chair Matthew S. Washington. “We look forward to having conversations about how new construction at the Corn Exchange site will help us address these most important needs for the community.”
Janus Partners LLC and Monadnock Construction, Inc. were selected to redevelop the former Taystee Bakery Complex based on their response to a Request for Expressions of Interest NYCEDC released for the site in November 2010. NYCEDC had previously conveyed the site to Harlem Real Estate LLC, an affiliate of Citarella, in 2001, but as a result of the entity’s failure to renovate the site, the New York State Supreme Court awarded title to back to NYCEDC in 2009. 125th Street Equities LLC was selected to redevelop the Corn Exchange Building based on their response to a Request for Expressions of Interest NYCEDC released for the site in March 2011. NYCEDC had previously conveyed the site to Corn Exchange LLC in 2003, but, there too, as a result of Corn Exchange LLC’s failure to renovate the site, the New York State Supreme Court awarded title back to NYCEDC in 2009.
A substantial part of the 125th Street corridor and its immediate vicinity were rezoned in April 2008 as part of a comprehensive initiative by the City to strengthen the 125th Street corridor as a regional business district and bolster its historic role as an arts, entertainment and retail hub. Developed by the Department of City Planning with Harlem stakeholders over four years, the plan was designed to reinforce 125th Street as a commercial corridor and catalyze new development while protecting the scale of the corridor’s commercial and historic brownstone areas. Additionally, it established an innovative arts bonus – the first in the City – to promote the development of new non-profit visual arts and performance space.