2007-01-26, 14:02

Mixed use planned for Harlem

By: Jonathan Groner
Harlem isn't the part of New York City where one would have expected an upscale mixed-use center to spring up. But this is the 21st century, New York is flush with money, development is booming, and Harlem's reputation as a decrepit, crime-ridden neighborhood is outdated. In fact, Harlem is hot. It's becoming a much less expensive alternative to midtown Manhattan.

According to a Dec. 6, 2006, column in the New York Sun by real estate investor Michael Stoler, construction on a major joint venture mixed-use project headed by Vornado Realty Trust is scheduled to begin in April. It will be a Class A office and retail center in East Harlem, right at a Metro-North transit station and the Lexington Avenue subway station.

Stoler says the president of Vornado Office, David Greenbaum, told Stoler's New York University Real Estate Institute class that his company is planning to build a 600,000 square building with about 500,000 square of Class A office space, 100,000 square of retail, and underground parking. Rents are expected to be 40 percent less expensive than any new office tower in Midtown Manhattan. Net rent for a new office tenant, after various credits, would be about $43 per square foot, compared with $80 to $100 per square foot in Midtown.

"Harlem is an excellent alternative to a company relocating to Jersey City or Long Island City, with excellent transportation and infrastructure," the president and chief executive of Cushman & Wakefield, Bruce Mosler, told Stoler.

Mixed use is finding a home in the most urban as well as the most rural parts of America.

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