An 'Un-Gentrification' Project in Harlem Construction Underway at Marcus Garvey Village

An 'Un-Gentrification' Project in Harlem

According to a recent press release from Harlem-based developer Carthage Real Estate Advisors, construction is progressing at Marcus Garvey Village (not to be confused with the development of the same name in Brownsville, Brooklyn), a 300,000-square-foot, 18-story mixed-income, multifamily project with 330 residences at 209 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard at 124th Street in Manhattan. 

According to the developer, the project will focus on the culture of the community, rather than gentrification. In addition to an array of resident amenities, Carthage and Body Lawson Associates Architects & Planners, an MBE architecture practice, “are adding dedicated spaces that reflect the distinct culture of the neighborhood, such as a 1,000-square-foot rooftop performance area, grade level LGBTQ+ center, and rooms reserved for Community Board 10 meetings and other community uses.”

Founded in 1999, Carthage Real Estate Advisors specializes in developing workforce and affordable income housing in NYC and the tristate area. The firm works with private investment clients, nonprofits and municipalities to produce supportive housing “that improves communities and generates much needed economic development activity” while being profitable for investors, sensitive to the needs of the local community, and environmentally sustainable. Its portfolio encompasses mixed-income, mixed-use, and affordable preservation projects. To date, the firm has developed more than 1,500 units of affordable housing with a total budget of nearly $350 million.


For Marcus Garvey Village, Carthage worked in partnership with the West Harlem Development Corporation (WHDC), a nonprofit organization established in 2005 “to manage the Community Benefits Agreement with Columbia University through organizational collaborations and leveraging of resources to make significant contributions to the lives of the people of West Harlem.” The WHDC contributed $2 million for the affordable housing component of Marcus Garvey Village, which will feature 50 percent market rate units and 50 percent lower- and middle-income units for residents earning up to 60 percent of the area median income (AMI).

“Our mission with Marcus Garvey Village is to create a building that celebrates the spirit of a world-renowned neighborhood,” says Carthage founder and president Edward Poteat. “The Harlem in which I grew up has become a more generic, upscale neighborhood, largely at the expense of its artistic and colorful history. By bringing back performance spaces for local residents and places where our community’s uniqueness shines, we believe this project will set a new paradigm for development here.”


According to the release, Carthage purchased the lot from the Abyssinian Baptist Church in 2017 for $27 million. After securing an $80 million construction loan from Bank Leumi, the project broke ground in November 2020, and is projected to be ready for occupancy by Fall 2022. The affordable income apartments will be made available to qualified residents through an HPD lottery in early 2022.

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