BROWNFIELD OPPORTUNITY AREA REPORT
For more than 25 years, HCCI has worked to build affordable housing and provide a comprehensive array of services to address the needs of low-income residents of central Harlem. With the advent of the Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) Program, managed by the NYS Department of State, HCCI recognized an opportunity to advance community revitalization in Bradhurst. In 2005, HCCI, in collaboration with Harlem Community Development Corporation (HCDC) submitted a Step1 BOA Study application.
The application, “Under the Viaduct: Bradhurst and Vicinity Concept Plan” addressed a 210-acre area, with at least five brownfield sites, in the Bradhurst section of Harlem in New York City. The application called for the development of a strategic land use plan that addressed northern Harlem between 139th and 163rd Streets, Harlem to Hudson Rivers, and specifically the area from St. Nicholas Avenue to the Harlem River and 145th to 159th Streets. The primary concerns identified in the application included the lack of employment opportunities, services, and physical connections throughout Bradhurst. The primary goals of the study were to improve physical connections, assess the business needs in the area, review the zoning to determine how to best implement a diverse mix of uses that incorporate environmentally friendly design, and to develop a plan for reinvigorating the area under the 155th Street viaduct by turning it into a community focal point, instead of a barrier.
A series of community meetings were held between 2005 and 2010 to lay the foundation for the Bradhurst BOA study. In the 2005 BOA application, and based on input from residents and the recently completed Under the Viaduct Plan, HCCI and HCDC preliminarily identified a number of brownfield sites in Bradhurst they thought Entrance to Jackie Robinson Park 4 were ripe for redevelopment. Their knowledge of the area, together with their expertise in planning and real estate development enabled them to identify brownfield sites early on in the process. Since 2005, the list of sites has been updated and reevaluated several times both by the community and by HCCI/HCDC. In 2011, after a review of the brownfields inventory and a study area walk-through, the HCCI, HCDC, and the Consultant Team recommended that nine sites be evaluated for their potential as strategic sites. Based on a ranking analysis and input from the BOA Steering Committee and the community, the list of strategic sites was ultimately reduced to four:
Post Office Site - 27,978 sq. ft., located at block 2039; lots 15, 45
Lenox Terminal/P.S. 200 site - 285,142 sq. ft., located at block 2016; lots 1, 10, 100
Davis Warshow/Western Beef - 59,450 sq. ft., block 2040; lots 40, 43, 48, 61, 62
L-Shaped site at Lenox Avenue and 145th Street - 78,794 sq. ft., block 2014; lots 21, 29, 31, 36, 45