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Revamped East Harlem Rezoning Goes To City Council Vote

Revamped East Harlem Rezoning Goes To City Council Vote
A stretch of buildings on Park Avenue in East Harlem, N.Y.

A transformative rezoning plan for East Harlem is one step away from becoming reality.

The New York City Council's Land Use Committee voted in favor of a plan to rezone the entire East Harlem district under the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, after Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council President Melissa Mark-Viverito reportedly struck a deal to compromise over height and density restrictions, The Real Deal reports.

Mark-Viverito, East Harlem's council representative, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer rejected the mayor's inital rezoning proposal in August. Brewer said the proposal's goal of mandating 20% of all new housing developments be restricted to residents making 30% or less of the area median income was unrealistic and likely to prevent development.

Though details of specific affordability guidelines under the revamped proposal were not disclosed, the city estimates that 20% to 25% of all new housing in East Harlem will be affordable under the bill, creating an estimated 1,288 new affordable units.

While certain corridors of Park, Lexington, Third and Second avenues and East 116th Street would be upzoned to allow for larger developments, other stretches, like Park Avenue south of East 188th Street, will have height restrictions. As part of the bill, $50M will be earmarked for New York City Housing Authority projects in the area and $101M will go toward the creation of a new park between 125th and 132nd streets.

Large-scale development is already underway in the area ahead of the rezoning, such as AvalonBay Communities' incoming 1,000-unit, mixed-income project between First and Second avenues, which was approved by city council separately.