By Jeff Mays on July 8, 2014 12:03pm
Photo credit: Blumenfeld Development Group, Ltd.
HARLEM — The developers of the East River Plaza mall are planning to add a residential tower with as many as 1,000 units atop the existing structure — and want to get some feedback from East Harlem residents at a meeting Wednesday night.
“Residential has always been contemplated. The infrastructure is there, the property has water views, is next to the FDR Drive and would be an iconic property,” said David Blumenfeld, a principal of Blumenfeld Development Group, Ltd. which owns the mall at 116th Street and the FDR Drive along with Forest City Ratner Companies, one of the city’s largest developers.
“That’s why we want this open community meeting to get a feeling about what people would like to see,” Blumenfeld said of the meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. July 9 at Hunter College School of Socialwork. “We are going to present some ideas in regards to residential and get some feedback from the public.”
The five story, 500,000 square foot complex, which opened in 2009, currently houses stores such as Costco, Target, Burlington Coat Factory and discount grocer Aldi, which opened its first Manhattan location at the mall in 2013.
In March, the mall reached full capacity after Planet Fitness signed a long term lease for 14,500 square feet and Mt. Sinai Hospital signed a 15-year lease to open a 14,500 square foot dialysis center.
The underlying zoning of the property is already designated for residential use and would only require a modification of the special permit used to build the retail center Blumenfeld said.
Blumenfeld added that a final decision on size or height has yet to be determined. But he said affordability will definitely be a part of any residential project at East River Plaza and that the company was looking to do a higher rate of affordable housing than the standard 80 percent market rate and 20 percent affordable split.
“That’s one of the conversations we are having,” Blumenfeld said.
Elsewhere, East Harlem is booming with new, tall residential towers.