By Daniel Geiger


To win support for its plans for a $1 billion-plus expansion of a large residential complex in Harlem, the property’s owner is offering to create park space, renovate apartments and offer existing residents amenities such as gyms and roof terraces in the new properties.

The Olnick Organization is hoping to negotiate a “tenant benefits agreement” with the 4,000 occupants of its roughly 1,600 rental units at Lenox Terrace, a sprawling 12.4-acre property spanning three blocks in East Harlem. By the end of the year the landlord is aiming to begin a city approval process to win residential zoning to build five towers on the property, with around 1,500 additional units. The current property has six buildings plus a number of parking lots and garages that Olnick would use as development sites for the new towers.

“We want the agreement to be comprehensive and include such things as the level of renovation to happen within existing units and the common areas of existing buildings, the level of and mechanisms to ensure local spending, measures to limit the impact of construction on current residents, and the elements of the open space and new amenities to be built,” Seth Schochet, president of the Olnick Organization, said in a statement. “We are sure that the value will be significant, and the result will be meaningful…”

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