This Stalled Harlem-Housing Complex Might Not Be Dead After All

The site of a proposed housing complex along 145th Street in Harlem. Photo: Google Maps

The saga of One45, the stalled Harlem complex proposed by developer Bruce Teitelbaum, is once again sputtering back into the news with Teitelbaum suggesting that there’s political support — and a tenant who’s moving to make way.

Last year, Teitelbaum tried — and failed — to get city approval to turn five lots on 145th Street and Lenox Avenue into a 915-unit housing complex that would rise over a civil-rights museum. In a prolonged fight with then-councilmember Kristin Richardson Jordan over the right proportion of affordable units (he proposed half, she wanted 100 percent), he turned one of the lots into a kind of spite project: a de facto truck depot, where a gas station had once stood.

But there’s a new councilperson in town. Jordan stepped down after one term “under the cloud of her staunch opposition to the rezoning,” according to the editorial board of the Daily News. (Other potential factors: missing nearly half her committee meetings and misusing council funds.) Her replacement, Yusef Salaam, has said he backs housing on the site. Teitelbaum says he’s in touch with Salaam’s office and told the Daily News that he expects to “have something encouraging to announce soon after the start of the new year.” Salaam’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Teitelbaum also seems to be making moves on the site itself. As the Daily News reported over the weekend, the developer loaned a mosque that’s been renting at one of his buildings enough cash to buy their own $1.15 million building farther West on 145th Street, and a leader at the Timbuktu Islamic Center said they hope to move by this spring — their current space was often too crowded for the many who came, with congregants forced to pray outside on the sidewalk.

Tetielbaum has called the development his “white whale.” His updated proposal, presented last year to the local community board, offers an even higher percentage of affordable units: just over half of 915 units. But the final say may be up to Governor Hochul, whom Teitelbaum is relying on to revive some form of affordable housing financing.

This Stalled Harlem-Housing Complex Might Not Die After All