Skip to Content
CityRealty Logo
265 West 126th Street Rendering (Source: NYC Housing Preservation & Development) 265 West 126th Street Rendering (Source: NYC Housing Preservation & Development)
Proving affordable housing does not mean unattractive, bottom-line construction, a dignified 37-unit middle-income housing development at 265 West 126th Street is replacing a long-vacant lot in Harlem behind the Apollo Theater. Named Balton Commons, the new building will meet Passive House standards and will host a restaurant and tech incubator in addition to below-market rate apartments.

The 85-foot wide formerly city-owned site was previously home of Mandela community garden. Through the city's Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) Building Opportunity Initiative, developers Lemor Realty Corporation and Apex Building Group acquired the vacant lot for $1 to build affordable homes and the community-benefitting commercial uses. Lemor Realty states there will be 4,500 square feet of tech incubator space managed by Silicon Harlem, 1,200 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, and 1,350 square feet of community facility space in the $19 million project. Silicon Harlem is a non-profit organization that aims to transform Harlem into a technology and innovation hub.
267-West-126th-Street 261-267 West 126th Street (Google streetview)

In this article:

Balton Commons, 265 West 126th Street
Balton Commons, 265 West 126th Street Harlem
A beast of a machine (January 2020/CityRealty)
Construction permits were filed and approved last year and showing Aufgang Architects leading the design. The firm also handled the soon-to-be-selling 99 Morningside condos nearby and the newly-finished affordable rental, The Frederick. This new building will rise a modest seven floors and encompass a total of 43,000 square feet of space. There will be roughly five to seven apartments per floor and residents will be provided accessory bike storage, laundry facilities, a fitness room, and outdoor/indoor recreational space. With a pile driver now on site, and signage fully posted, construction now appears ready to move into full swing. Signage states the building will come online winter 2021.

The site is located just off the neighborhood's premier shopping stretch,125th Street, which has the famed Apollo Theater and the expanding Studio Museum of Harlem. Across the street, on a site adjacent to the Apollo Theater, a 42-story mixed-use tower is planned at 270 West 126th Street. Further east on the block, the redevelopment of the Victoria Theater is now in its final construction lap.
Baltic COmmons-004 A revised rendering posted on the project site showing a slightly watered-down design
Harlem skyline New yOrk city