EMPOWERMENT ZONE AWARDS $100,000
GRANT TO EAST HARLEM’S HOPE COMMUNITY, INC.
New York, N.Y. – As Upper Manhattan continues
its social and economic renaissance, community organizations are working to further improve neighborhoods
within the areas they serve.That’s why,
yesterday, Thursday, May 29, the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone
Development Corp. (UMEZ) was pleased to award a $100,000 grant to Hope
Community, Inc. to be used in combination with a New YorkState grant, as
well as other State and local funding to implement a building, façade and
streetscape improvement program in East Harlem.
“This grant demonstrates our
continuing commitment to the economic, social and cultural revitalization of East
Harlem,” said Kenneth J. Knuckles, UMEZ’s President & CEO. “When
work is completed on this and other projects, residents and visitors, alike,
will find that East Harlem is truly
an exciting and beautiful place to live, work or visit.”
Street grant area lies along Lexington
Avenue from East 102nd
Street to 105th
Street and East 103rd
Street to East 104th
Street between Park and Third Avenues.There are approximately 67 buildings with
residential units and approximately 35 commercial storefronts in the target
area.Under this initiative, vacant
commercial and residential units will be renovated, façade improvements will be
made and various streetscape amenities will be installed. The overall goal of
the new initiative is to continue the transformation of what has been called East
Harlem’s “Gateway” into a vibrant and thriving location
for tourism, as well as place of beauty for local residents.
Hope Community Inc.’s Executive Director, said, “Hope’s Main Street program
will provide opportunities for small local business and property owners in the
East Harlem Gateway area to benefit from the redevelopment
of the neighborhood. This project reflects our commitment to revitalizing East Harlem through strategies that
support long-term local residents and businesses. We are honored by the Upper
Manhattan Empowerment Zone’s support for this important initiative.”
UMEZ was one of nine federally
designated urban zones in 1994, and seeks to revitalize economically deprived
communities by using public funds and tax incentives as catalysts for private
investment.UMEZ’s mission is to sustain
the economic and cultural revitalization of all communities of Upper Manhattan through corporate alliances;
strategic investments in businesses, as well as cultural institutions, organizations
and individuals; and job creation.
Community, Inc. was founded in 1968 when a grassroots group of East Harlem residents banded
together to preserve their block on East 104th Street. Collectively they
purchased and renovated an abandoned tenement, converting it into eight
attractive, affordable apartments. Thirty-five years later Hope has grown into
one of New York's most dynamic
community development and preservation organizations.
Community is committed to building better communities and enriching the lives
of the people who live and work within them. With New York City's East Harlem
(First Avenue to Fifth Ave, between East 96th Street and East 143rd Street) as its
focus.It sponsors, constructs, and
operates affordable rental housing and sponsor homeownership opportunities.
Through the creation of new and revitalized commercial spaces, it encourages the
growth and success of neighborhood businesses.