Monday, November 29, 2010

☞ DWELL: The 262 West 121st Street Lot

Now that 260 West 121st Street (grey building) has finally been sold, its neighboring lot is now up on the market.  The next door 18 x 101 foot parcel that is currently being used as a parking lot has finally been offered on the market separately from the aforementioned townhouse.  Asking is currently at $600K for this piece of South Harlem just east of FDB/8th Avenue.  Zoning for the land permits up to 10,900 square foot to be built so the chances of one of those narrow towers going up is pretty high.  Most developers won't spend the money to get the facade details right so we would rather have something lower scale like the new house on 123rd Street if an architectural revival doesn't come about: LINK. Numbers 254-264 were originally a matching set of six brownstones so in an ideal world, someone would replicate the twin building at number 256 (at far left of photo) on this empty lot at number 262 West 121st Street. At any rate, anything would be better than the parking garage with the chain link fence.


  1. The existing facades give a new developer plenty of inspiration and defined lines to work with given the many arched windows and triangular roof. Most notably are the strong horizontal lines at each floor continuing either side of the lot that would be a perfect fill in for a new façade. Let’s see if the architect can design something to complement this row of homes.

  2. Buyer beware! The use of this property is restricted to not-for-profit recreational purpose. A new buyer will be stuck w/these restrictions. Check out ACRIS.

  3. What exactly is a "not-for-profit recreational purpose" in this context? Would erecting a single-family dwelling fit under that definition?

    And where did this stipulation come from? Was it in the will of the clergyman from whom the current owner inherited the land? (The current owner also "sold" the land to himself as executor of the estate -- though perhaps this only seems shady because I don't look at these things too often.)

    At any rate, if the deed effectively prevents development, what's up with this listing? Is the seller effectively hoping someone will walk up and drop half a mil without bothering to check it out?

  4. Makainyc is correct, the lot was given to the church in the 1980s with a restriction that the development must be not for profit. I had a client ready to put an offer in until I saw that in the deed transfer. I'm pretty sure this would rule out single family, unless owned by not for profit somehow.