Wednesday, August 20, 2014


There was probably a time not so long ago that having anything such as ornamental foliage in front of one's brownstone was a bad idea in Harlem but we are now seeing more homeowners decorate their front plots of land these days.  This is easily done with the larger potted plant varieties that can be purchased during the warm season and placed at the top of a stoop or the area right in front of the garden floor entrance.  We were walking around the Mount Morris Park Historic District yesterday and noticed one such tree in bloom with a brilliant cobalt blue pot which is also an important details.  Clay, terra cotta, or cast iron are the traditional materials for planters and also add a nice decorative touch to the surrounding environment.


The developer at 243 West 122nd Street will be expanding the brownstone a couple of floors but has decided to keep things classic.  A rendering of the final design has been posted out front on the plywood and everything looks like it will be contextual to the original architectural plans.  Instead of trying to reinvent what is already an iconic Harlem house, this restoration will basically entail duplicating the lower floors and raising the cornice to the new top level.  At the end, there will be 7 units in all but it is unclear if this updated construction will be used as rentals or condos.


Activity at the old Hamilton Theatre site in the past few weeks indicated that a new tenant might be moving into the landmark building at the corner of 146th and Broadway but this arrangement will apparently only be temporary.  Signs up at the building now indicate that one of those Halloween pop-up shops will be set up in the coming weeks and will most definitely remain within until the end of October.  We personally would love a great concert or performance venue to return here or even a movie theater but that will probably not happen until a developer comes along that be willing to invest in condos at the back end of the building: LINK


After over 20 years, PS186 at West 145th Street will finally be restored in the next coming months.  Bespoke readers have noticed more activity on the site lately and now a Crain's article reveals that 63 low-income apartments are planned along with 7 middle-income and 8 market-rate units.  The Boys & Girls Club will be the main tenant on the lower level and this took such a long time because all the financing did not make sense until now.  Including those middle-income and market-rate apartments probably helped with the numbers at the end.   Some in the community also wanted the building to be demolished and this too stalled things from moving along for decades.  This time around, it looks like thing will definitely be moving along quickly since the $48.6 million financing needed for the restoration has officially been secured.  More in Crain's: LINK


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