The Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force is a group of concerned citizens who have united to help the Elmendorf Reformed Church to restore and memorialize its historically and culturally significant colonial African burial ground at 1st Avenue, between 126th and 127th Streets in East Harlem, New York City.

TIMELINE & NEXT STEPS

EXISTING ZONING DISTRICT: M1-2

~ 100,000 SQ. FT.

A massing of the existing 126th Street Bus Depot which currently occupies the entire block.

This page is intended as a shorthand for the development process of the 126th Street Bus Depot, a city-owned block bound by First and Second Avenues in East Harlem, New York City. In 2015 the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) ceased operations in this facility, allowing talks for redevelopment to proceed. The bus depot will be the future site of the Harlem African Burial Ground memorial and mixed-use development project. Below is a timeline of the steps taken thus far and what yet remains.

DEVELOPMENT TIMELINE

REASONABLE WORST CASE DEVELOPMENT SCENARIO

The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and the Speaker’s Office met with the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force, the 126th Street Bus Depot Task Force, and the committees of Community Board 11 to establish a maximum development program known as the Reasonable Worst Case Development Scenario (RWCDS). The RWCDS (summarized below) does not outline the actual program for the site but captures the maximum environmental impacts that could result from the project.  

The purpose of the environmental review process known as CEQR (City Environmental Quality Review) is to disclose and discuss potentially significant adverse environmental impacts based on the RWCDS.

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT STATEMENT (EAS)

EAS describes the proposed land use action(s) and provides an initial analysis of its potential effects on the environment. Since significant environmental impacts were identified a positive declaration was given to conduct a more thorough environmental analysis known as an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). 

DRAFT SCOPE OF WORK (DSOW)

DSOW describes the topics to be addressed in the EIS such as impacts on noise, water and sewer infrastructure, air quality, transportation, shadows, open space, neighborhood character, etc. 

Community Board 11 and the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force each offered their own response to the DSOW before the public comment period expired on October 21, 2016.

OPEN HOUSE FOR THE HARLEM AFRICAN BURIAL GROUND MEMORIAL & MIXED USE PROJECT

An informational night held at the Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work in East Harlem. The general public was invited to learn more about the history of the Harlem African Burial Ground and the proposed redevelopment of the 126th Street Bus Depot. 

PUBLIC SCOPING HEARING FOR EIS

A public information session held at the Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work in East Harlem. The purpose of this hearing was to allow the general public to voice their concerns, questions, and/or comments regarding the Harlem African Burial Ground, the redevelopment of the bus depot site, and the DSOW for the EIS. 

FINAL SCOPE OF WORK (FSOW)

FSOW incorporates public comments where possible and gives responses to any questions and concerns.

DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT (DEIS)

DEIS is a thorough environmental analysis based on the RWCDS. The EIS studies the nature and consequences of specific environmental impacts that can be reasonably anticipated as a result of the proposed land use actions.

ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) is an approximately 7 month public review period. An application that proposes to change the land use of the city is reviewed by the following institutions: 

COMMUNITY BOARD 11 OF MANHATTAN

 

MANHATTAN BOROUGH PRESIDENT GALE BREWER

 

CITY PLANNING COMMISSION

NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL

 

MAYOR BILL de BLASIO

CERTIFICATION OF LAND USE APPLICATION

A review session open to the public in which the Department of City Planning’s Manhattan Borough Office will make a presentation to the City Planning Commission outlining the proposed land use actions. Certification marks the official start of ULURP. 

MANHATTAN BOROUGH PRESIDENT REVIEW & APPROVAL

The Office of the Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer approved the land use application but with several modifications / conditions.

CITY PLANNING COMMISSION REVIEW & APPROVAL

The City Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the land use application.

NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL REVIEW & APPROVAL

The Council of the City of New York votes to approve the land use application and issues a Proclamation to the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force in recognition of their work in honoring and preserving Harlem's sacred site. This final vote formally concludes the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure or ULURP. 

The City of New York, in a bidding process, releases an RFP or Request for Proposals to select a development team to redevelop the site and meet the public goals established by the Task Forces, community, and elected officials.

This 3 year timeline from 2020 to 2023 is tentative and contigent on a multitude of factors, including economic and political ones.

RWCDS

COMMUNITY BOARD 11 REVIEW & APPROVAL

A ULURP public hearing was held at the National Black Theatre in Harlem. After lengthy deliberation Community Board 11 voted to approve the land use application but with several conditions. 

 
 
 
 

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