Could Harlem be the next NYC neighborhood to get its own High Line-style park? Non-profit organization Housing Partnership thinks so and has proposed the Harlem Promenade, a project to construct affordable residential units and an elevated green space along the Amtrak rail lines in Hamilton Heights. Although the Harlem Promenade plan may be similar to other elevated urban park schemes, the money needed to fund the project would come from a unique fundraising idea.
The proposal calls for the creation of a community park constructed alongside the West Side Highway on top of a portion of the Amtrak rail lines. Daniel Cohen, local Harlem resident and creator of the Harlem Promenade, suggests that money for the project could be raised from selling Amtrak‘s unused air rights to several Broadway buildings, potentially raising around $170 million for the ambitious plan.
Funds from the sale of air rights would also go towards improving local infrastructure and increasing the affordable housing stock in the area, which would require developers to create a “50-50 split of market rate and affordable housing units.” In contrast to other High Line-inspired projects, no luxury units would be allowed in the Harlem project.
According to a study by Housing Partnership, the Harlem Promenade could potentially bring 3,200 permanent jobs to the area and generate $27 million in new annual local wages.
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