Following former President Clinton’s lead, fresh residential opportunities and commerce are coming to Harlem. The press is calling it a housing renaissance. New zoning approved last fall for south central Harlem, the area’s most desirable location, allows for modest increases in residential density and also encourages ground floor retail businesses. The zoning changes are intended to balance growth and preservation while promoting commercial development to support the revitalized community.
Harlem is humming with revitalization. Dumpsters in the streets and work permits in the windows proclaim that renovations are in progress. Boarded up buildings are being rehabilitated, and dilapidated shells are getting full makeovers and facelifts. Private investors are rushing in on the heels of earlier developers who were given economic incentives by the city to renovate abandoned properties. Existing structures are being converted to luxury housing, and brand new construction is being built for mixed use.