Stop The Towers of Doom!

Towers of Doom

The Problem

  • An LLC wants to build two out-of-scale towers at West 145th St and Lenox Avenue in Harlem, rising 363 feet above this low-rise neighborhood.

– A whopping 866–939 new residential units, including only 217–282 so-called “affordable” units. The majority of these will be speculative luxury condos and out-of-reach for current neighborhood residents!

– Will demolish almost a full block and destroy the current small businesses including the Timbuktu Islamic Center, restaurants, a 99-cent store and a laundromat.  Permits for demolition were issued in January 2021 to Steve Neuman, owner of the real estate firm Coltown Properties. The developers say “further assessment of this concern is not warranted.” Say what??

Who Benefits?

  • Al Sharpton, who is worth about $2 Million, will get a new headquarters for his National Action Network and a Civil Rights Museum.

– Bruce Teitelbaum, owner of One45 LLC, stands to gain 100s of 1000s of $$$.

– Upper class people, since the majority of apartments in both towers will be market-rate.

– International investors. Between 2014 and 2017 the number of vacant, unavailable apartments rose from 182,571 to 247,977 in NYC, many are “investment” placeholders held by the global super rich.

Who Loses?

Everyone else! Neighborhood residents who can’t afford luxury apartments. Low and middle-income Black residents and Black-owned businesses who will be priced out of the community with increasing rents. The developer is asking the city to upzone this site to C4-6, a General Commercial Zoning District, turning it into a regional commercial center, such as Flushing in Queens and destroying the rich Black culture of the neighborhood. In NYC after an upzoning, the bulk of new housing is always for the luxury market, exasperating the NYC housing crisis.

Zoned Out

The Department of City Planning (DCP) in NYC is narrowly focused on zoning as their main planning tool (a far cry from actual community-based planning). A spot-zoning (upzoning a single parcel for more height and density than that which is legally permitted), which is what ONE45 is asking for, increases the height of buildings and almost always results in displacement of the community and the construction of luxury buildings and upscale businesses. Upzonings are inherently racist and classist tools of white supremacy to ethnically cleanse Black and Brown communities and destroy, in this case, the Black culture of Harlem.

AMI & MIH

Area Median Income (AMI) is calculated each year by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The 2021 AMI for the New York City region is $107,400 for a three-person family. This # is used to determine “affordable” housing income requirements, rather than the average household income in Harlem, $49,095. Big Difference.

Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) is a DeBlasio-led zoning change made in 2016 that said developers are required to include “affordable” housing in new construction or when a rezoning occurs, usually only about 20%, while the remaining 80% are market-rate, many “luxury condominiums”. This scheme has been a huge land grab for big real estate while only creating just 2,065 MIH “affordable apartments” since 2016.

Download our flyer below and print and put them in your building and distribute to your friends and neighbors!

Sign our petition!

Resources and Sources

– Angotti T and Morse S (ed) (2017) Zoned Out! Race, Displacement, and City Planning in New York City. New York: Terreform

– One45Draft Scope of Work for Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement CEQR No.: 21DCP167M (April 9, 2021)

– Stein, Samuel (2021) Assessing de Blasio’s Housing Legacy. NewYork: Community Service Society

– Kober, Eric (January 2020) De Blasio’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Program: What Is Wrong, and How It Can Be Made Right. New York: Manhattan Institute

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