Shrugging off gloomy predictions about the city’s future, big-league developers on Monday unveiled plans for transformative new projects on Harlem’s famed 125th Street, including a new Target.
The deals — remarkable strokes of confidence in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic — aren’t long-range pipe dreams either, but fully financed ventures that will break ground soon and be completed within two years.
One of the projects, at 121 W. 125th St., has even signed a lease for a 44,000 square-foot Target, The Post has learned exclusively.
The ever-growing Target brand will be part of an ambitious new 17-story project between Malcolm X and Adam Clayton Powell boulevards named the Urban League Empowerment Center. The mini-tower designed by Beyer Blinder Belle will house a new headquarters for the venerable nonprofit dedicated to advocacy and economic empowerment for African Americans.
It will also have 170 affordable rental apartments, a civil rights museum, 73,000 square feet of offices for community groups and a total 90,000 square feet of retail. Construction is to start this fall.
Although the new Target will be smaller than some chain locations, it marks another leap forward for 125th Street, Harlem’s main commercial corridor and an historic center of African American life and culture.
Target spokesperson Jill Lewis confirmed the store opening, saying the new location “will be tailored to serve local guests.”
The team behind the Urban League project consists of BRP, Dabar Development, L+M Development Partners, Taconic Partners and the Prusik Group. The latter three are also behind the Essex Crossing complex downtown.
“Signing Target meets our desire to have retailers that are socially responsible and community-focused,” said Prusik group principal S. Andrew Katz.
The $242 million building designed by Gensler architects is powered by $188 million in construction financing from Goldman Sachs’ Urban Investment Group. The unit’s top executive, Margaret Anadu, called the project “transformative” for the neighborhood and essential for the Urban League.
Other 125th Street developments west of Fifth Avenue include a Whole Foods retail complex, several national chains, an enlarged Studio Museum in Harlem, new apartment towers and a Marriott Hotel where the Apollo Theater nearby will operate a performing arts center.
The eastern portion is less developed, but that’s about to change as well.
Extell just unveiled plans for a nine-story, 441,600 square-foot office tower at 180 E. 125th St. between Third and Lexington avenues, a low-rise former supermarket site that’s lain empty for years.
It’s a rare ground-up office project in the neighborhood. Cushman & Wakefield has been tapped to lure tenants to what will be called Harlem Headquarters.
Gary Barnett’s Extell has owned the site for years and has changed plans for it several times. It’s expected to be finished in 2022.
“We’ve been looking to develop in Harlem for a long time, and now is the time,” Barnett said.