AND to Redevelop HPD’s Multi-Service Center in East Harlem!

IT’S OFFICIAL: We are very proud to announce that the New York City Department of Housing Development and Preservation (HPD) has chosen Ascendant Neighborhood Development (AND) and The Community Builders (TCB) to redevelop the existing East Harlem Multi-Service Center site. Dubbed The Beacon, the AND/TCB project will preserve the historic PS 80 building and tenants who currently provide a range of social services to residents of the neighborhood. Additionally, the project will include a new 100% affordable 250-home residential building with 30% of homes set aside for households that have experienced homelessness.


Two mixed-use developments, Timbale Terrace on East 118th Street and The Beacon at East 120th Street will provide hundreds of affordable homes for low-income and formerly homeless families, along with a new Afro-Latin performing arts space and a newly renovated East Harlem Multi-Service Center.Winning proposals were made possible by the East Harlem rezoning and delivers on significant commitments in the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan for affordable housing, education, and workforce training investments and support for neighborhood small businesses and nonprofits.
“These incredible projects are delivering on the City’s commitment to invest in job training, youth, education, and more affordable housing for East Harlem. They are also proving that affordable housing can be an anchor for the arts and the entire community’s well-being,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “I am so proud to announce plans for both the new Afro-Latin Performing Arts Center and renovated multi-service facility that will enhance the community’s quality of life. I want to thank our partners, The Community Builders, Ascendant Neighborhood Development, Mega Contracting, Lantern Organization, and the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance for their creative and thoughtful leadership.”

The Beacon
Ascendant Neighborhood Development and co-developers, The Community Builders (TCB), will develop the site located at 413 East 120th Street, to be known as The Beacon. The East Harlem Multi-Service Center site will give rise to an affordable 250-home residential building, of which 75 homes or 30 percent will be set aside for households that have experienced homelessness. The new residential building will be constructed at the back of the existing East Harlem Multi-Service Center, which will be rehabilitated and expanded. The original architecture of the multi-service center will be preserved and include additional space for after-school programming, a new atrium, green space, and the “Wagner Walk” walk path connecting the residential building to the multi-service facility. The renovated facility will continue to host the nonprofit organizations serving East Harlem.
“At TCB we pride ourselves on building and sustaining strong communities where all people can thrive,” said Desiree Andrepont, Senior Project Manager at The Community Builders. “It is a privilege to partner with Ascendant Neighborhood Development Corporation and bring together the East Harlem community with this exciting project. The transformation of the Multi Service Center will create a collaborative space to unite neighborhood leaders, local organizations and the greater community, and the development will provide much-needed affordable housing for generations to come”.
The City selected developers and their winning proposals from the competitive East Harlem RFP released in 2019, which sought plans to redevelop two sites that include affordable housing alongside retail and community services.
“For over thirty years, Ascendant has worked with our partners and allies to preserve, protect, and celebrate the unique history and heritage of East Harlem,” said Chris Cirillo, Executive Director at Ascendant Neighborhood Development Corporation. “We are profoundly grateful to have the opportunity to re-envision the Multi-Service Center as a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive 21st century community hub. We look forward to working with community members, Wagner Houses residents, Multi-Service Center tenants, Community Board 11, Council Member Ayala, and all of the other stakeholders who have helped to shape the vision for this site and the broader neighborhood.”

East Harlem Rezoning Context
In 2017, the New York City Council approved the East Harlem rezoning to identify opportunities to create new mixed-income housing and preserve existing affordable housing. The East Harlem Rezoning builds on recommendations of the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan (EHNP), developed through a comprehensive community planning process and led by a committee of local stakeholders including former New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, Manhattan Community Board 11 and Community Voices Heard. After a series of community meetings, the EHNP was issued with 232 recommendations for addressing key neighborhood issues. In addition to authorizing the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program for East Harlem, the rezoning creates opportunities for economic development while preserving the community’s existing commercial and manufacturing uses.

Public Sites for Public Good
Our long-standing commitment to affordable housing and preservation has produced focused efforts to collaborate with East Harlem NYCHA residents. With generous funding from Enterprise Community Partners, and using the dynamic East Harlem Neighborhood Plan as a starting point, the Northern Manhattan Collaborative (NMC), led by Ascendant and working with Hester Street Collaborative, assessed several NMC-owned and publicly-owned sites in East Harlem as potential locations for affordable housing development and other needed non-residential uses called out in the EHNP recommendations. The study produced not only several in-depth analyses of specific sites, but also a strategy for creating more connection among existing buildings and spaces in the neighborhood.
The resulting report, titled “Public Sites for Public Good“, details a vision for leveraging the neighborhood’s affordable housing opportunities to address community-identified needs with special attention to city-owned property. View the full report, available in English or Spanish, here.

We are humbled to have been chosen to take on this important project. Ascendant is thrilled to be teaming up with The Community Builders to build 250 more truly-affordable homes in East Harlem, as well as provide meaningful and needed, community-centered neighborhood services to our East Harlem community.

Thank you for your continued support of Ascendant and we look forward to updating you about The Beacon soon!




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