126th Street Bus Depot Project


East 126th Street Harlem African Burial Ground Memorial & Mixed-Use Project

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) on behalf of the City of New York is proposing a series of land use actions (collectively the “Proposed Project”) to facilitate the redevelopment of a City-owned full block site in East Harlem. The Proposed Project is anticipated to result in a mixed-use development project including a mix of permanently affordable and middle income residential, commercial, and community facility uses, and provide a publicly-accessible memorial commemorating the Harlem African Burial Ground and its important role in the history of Harlem and New York City. The Proposed Project and resulting development program reflects ongoing consultation with the 126th Street Bus Depot Task Force, the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force, Manhattan CD 11, and local elected officials. The Proposed Project was also informed by and is consistent with the cultural heritage protection, economic development, and affordable housing goals identified in the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan, a community-based planning proposal issued in February 2016 by a Steering Committee consisting of a consortium of project partners and community organizations.

The Proposed Project could result in up to approximately 655,215 gross square feet (gsf) of residential development (comprising approximately 730 DU, of which 50 percent would be affordable to households earning at or below 80 percent Area Median Income (AMI)); approximately 315,000 gsf of commercial uses (including retail and office uses); approximately 30,000 gsf of community facility uses (including a 15,000 sf historical and cultural center as part of the memorial); 300 accessory parking spaces (to be provided in an above-ground enclosed garage); and approximately 18,000 sf of outdoor, unbuilt memorial space. The Proposed Project would include a total of approximately 952,585 zoning square feet (zsf), representing a Built FAR of 8.25. Overall, including accessory parking areas the project site would have a total of 1,090,215 gsf of building area. The Proposed Project is expected to be completed by 2022.

After the approvals comprising the Proposed Project complete the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), a Request for Proposals (RFP) soliciting proposals for development of the project site would be issued. It is anticipated that the site disposition would stipulate location and programming elements of the Harlem African Burial Ground Memorial, including an outdoor area and an indoor cultural facility. In order to address the potential range of responses to an RFP, the environmental review analyzes a reasonable worst-case development scenario (RWCDS) that conservatively considers for each impact category the reasonable worst-case potential for environmental effects. While the discretionary approvals that comprise the Proposed Project have been defined, the specific development program and site plan under the Proposed Project would be dependent on the RFP response. Thus, pursuant to City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR), a generic environmental impact statement (GEIS) will be prepared that considers the environmental impacts based on the RWCDS.

It is anticipated that the proposed 126th Street Bus Depot project will require approval of several discretionary city actions, including the following:

  • Zoning Map Amendment. A zoning map amendment (Zoning Sectional Map 6b) approval by the New York City Planning Commission (CPC) to change the zoning on the project site (Block 1803, Lot 1 and the adjacent demapping area) from the existing M1-2 light manufacturing district (high performance) to a C6-3 general central commercial district;
  • Zoning Text Amendment. A zoning text amendment to map the project site as a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Area in ZR Appendix F, pursuant to ZR §23-154;
  • City Map Change. A change to the City Map to narrow a portion of Second Avenue from 174 feet to a width of no less than 125 feet (plus an easement for sidewalk purposes, if needed) and the conveyance of that area to the adjoining City-owned property (Block 1803, Lot 1) pursuant to §4-105 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York; and
  • Disposition of Real Property. Disposition of the project site (the City-owned Block 1803, Lot 1 and the adjacent demapping area) by the City of New York for future development, with approval through ULURP under New York City Charter Section 197(c), and separate approval of the business terms of the sale of the disposition pursuant to Section 384(b)(4) of the New York City Charter.
  • NYCEDC is the applicant for the zoning map amendment, zoning text amendment, and City Map change actions; the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) is the co-applicant, with the NYCEDC, for the disposition action.
    In addition, in the future the private developer may seek public financing to facilitate the development of permanently affordable housing and/or the public financing by for economic development purposes.

On August 19, 2016, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development (ODMHED), as lead agency for the CEQR environmental review, issued an Environmental Assessment Statement (EAS) and a Positive Declaration for the project indicating that there was the potential for adverse environmental impacts due to the project and directed that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) be prepared. At the same time, a Draft Scope of Work for a Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) was issued for public comment.

Calendar of Events

Harlem African Burial Ground Memorial and Mixed Use Project Open House
September 15, 2016

Public Scoping Meeting
Tuesday, September 27, 2016

CB11 Public Hearing
March 21, 2017 – 6:30 pm
Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10029


Land Use Application and Supporting Materials

Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement Notice of Completion – February 17, 2017

CB11 comments on Draft Scope of Work

Presentation to CB11 Land Use, Landmarks & Planning Committee – May 11, 2016

Environmental Assessment Statement – August 19, 2016

Positive Declaration – August 19, 2016

Draft Scope of Work – August 19, 2016


African Burial Ground Project Will Have Some Units for Extremely Low-Income Families – City Limits, March 9, 2017

For more information about the project site and its history, please visit the following web sites:

NYC Economic Development Corporation website

Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force