Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Date: Tuesday, July 13, 1999

Release #274-99

Contact: Sunny Mindel/Curt Ritter 212/788 2958
Bernadette O'Leary 212/312-3523


Company To Build Mixed-Use Retail And Office Building

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today announced that 125th Street Gateway Ventures has been selected to build a four-story, 55,000-square-foot, mixed-use retail and office building on a 21,350-square-foot parcel of City-owned land in East Harlem on Lexington Avenue between East 125th and East 126th Streets.

"The redevelopment of Harlem continues to move forward as the City works with developers to bring private investment, quality services and retail outlets to this revitalized neighborhood," said Mayor Giuliani. "In addition to the new United Artists Theatre that will be built just down the street, this new building will provide Harlem residents with the services they want and need and will continue to help attract further investment to the area."

The potential tenants who have already expressed interest in the retail and office space in the new building include a major pharmacy chain, a primary care health center and a not-for-profit employment service. It is estimated that the project will generate 91 permanent jobs and approximately 40 jobs during the construction phase.

125th Street Gateway Ventures, a joint venture of ddm Development and Services and the CommunEcon Group, is headquartered in East Harlem with strong ties to the East Harlem community and has previously developed dozens of properties on behalf of not-for-profit owners over the past 10 years.

Nina DeMartini-Day, principal of ddm Development and Services and of Gateway, said, "As a 10-year participant in the revitalization of Harlem, we are excited to be involved in the development of this important corner. We think our Gateway building will have a major impact on the availability of much needed stores and services for the residents of East Harlem."

The City selected 125th Street Gateway Ventures after accepting Requests for Proposals to develop the site. The City considered a number of factors, including development team qualifications, financial feasibility, relationship to the surrounding community, design features, and anticipated timetable for completion of the project.

Randy Levine, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, Planning and Administration, said, "Under the Mayor's leadership, we continue to put idle, City-owned property to use, improving the quality of life of all New Yorkers and the City's business environment. There has never been a better time to do business in Harlem, and this project demonstrates the potential for successful development in this area."

The project is within a Federal Empowerment Zone and Gateway will utilize as-of-right benefits of the Empowerment Zone. The developer will provide $2.2 million in equity for the $11 million project and finance the balance. In addition, a $1 million private grant is proposed for the not-for-profit employment service. The project complies with the current zoning for the site.

Michael Carey, President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, said, "With today's announcement, Mayor Giuliani has again demonstrated his commitment to getting results for the people of New York and reopening East Harlem for business and investment."

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