East Harlem Center for Living and Learning

Organization Name: Jonathan Rose Companies

Project Title: East Harlem Center for Living and Learning

Project Location: East Harlem, Manhattan

Project Goals:
Jonathan Rose Companies is committed to developing communities that are adjacent to mass transit, jobs, education, affordable health care, open space, and fresh food. The goal of this project was to create a new model of community for East Harlem by transforming an under-utilized parking lot and trash compactor area on NYCHA property into a vibrant mix of open space, affordable housing, and a charter school for grades K-8. The new DREAM charter school gives parents in the community more choice in deciding where their child should go to school, and the apartment component brings much needed affordable housing to the community. Another key metric of the project was sustainability. The school is on track to receive a LEED-CI Silver rating, and the Yomo Toro Apartments will achieve certification from Green Enterprise Communities. Sustainable materials, low or no-VOC paints, and attractive outdoor spaces for students, residents and the public, were integrated into every part of the project.

Project Description:
The East Harlem Center for Living & Learning at Washington Houses is an approximately 160,000 square foot multi-family and mixed-use building that consists of 89 affordable housing units, a 70,000 gsf K-8 charter school, and 6,000 gsf of non-profit office space. The site is located on the corner of 2nd Avenue and East 104th Street in East Harlem. NYC Park’s Blake Hobbs Park was rehabilitated and reimagined as part of the project and serves as the entry to the DREAM Charter School. The affordable housing component, also known as the Yomo Toro Apartments, is accessed from East 104th Street. All of the apartments are designated for low-income households earning less than 60% of the area median income (AMI). Jonathan Rose Companies partnered with Civic Builders, Harlem RBI and the DREAM Charter School to realize the project. The success and feasibility of the project was dependent upon the partnership and support of a number of public agencies, including NYCHA, NYC HPD, NYC HDC and NYC SCA

Community Impact:
The East Harlem Center for Learning and Living creates a new community that integrates with its neighbors and also creates opportunities for the existing residents. Half of the children who attend the DREAM Charter School are residents of the adjacent Washington Houses public housing, giving them access to a beautiful new school facility and a well-respected team of faculty and after-school coaches. Harlem RBI and DREAM Charter school serves 1,700 students annually in their academic and after-school programs. As part of the master plan of the project, the Blake Hobbs public park was re-imagined by SCAPE Studio and rehabilitated for public use. It includes extensive seating areas and plantings, as well as a new playground. The 89 affordable housing units at Yomo Toro apartments brings much needed housing to the community; 16 of the building residents moved from Washington Houses and 6 more moved from NYCHA campuses elsewhere in Community Board 11.

Organization Description:
Jonathan Rose Companies is a mission-based, green real estate policy, development, project management and investment firm. The firm has completed $1.5 billion of work, much of it in close collaboration with not-for-profits, towns and cities. Our mission is to repair the fabric of cities, towns and communities while preserving the land around them. To do this, we plan and develop diverse, green, transit-accessible buildings and neighborhoods enriched with social, cultural and educational networks. The result of our work is a model that is equitable and supports the cultural, educational, and economic health of the regions in which we live and work. A leading green urban solutions provider, we understand buildings, neighborhoods, cities, regions and the nation, and the infrastructure systems that serve them as complex, adaptive and interdependent systems. We believe that our integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to policy and practice are the keys to achieving transformative change.

Thank you for viewing NYHC's Community Impact Gallery. Please note: NYHC does not own or manage any property. If you have any questions about a specific building, please contact the project team listed. To apply for affordable housing opportunities, see housingconnect.nyc.gov or hcr.ny.gov/find-affordable-housing

    DREAM Charter School entrance from Blake Hobbs Park

    Students in the DREAM Charter School Media Lab

    Yomo Toro Community Room with mural by HarlemRBI

    Exterior view of Yomo Toro Apartments

follow NYHC

for daily news updates, interesting facts, relevant articles, photos & more