By  on October 8, 2008

NEW YORK — Harlem business owners take note. 

The city of New York has set aside 50,000 square feet of retail space at below market rents as part of a planned 1.7 million-square-foot, mixed use development on three predominantly vacant parcels in East Harlem. The retail space will be reserved for locally owned businesses.

On Tuesday, the City selected a seven-group development partnership to build the $700 million East Harlem Media/Entertainment/Cultural Center (East Harlem M/E/C), which will include 30,000 square feet of dedicated community and cultural space, more than 600 affordable housing units, a public plaza, new office and retail space and a hotel.

The project is expected to create 1,500 permanent jobs and 4,000 construction jobs. Groundbreaking is expected in 2009.

“Together with our other investments along the 125th Street corridor, the development of the East Harlem Media, Entertainment and Cultural Center will help cement 125th Street as ‘Harlem’s Main Street’ and the cultural and retail hub of Upper Manhattan,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said in a statement.

The three-parcel site is generally bounded by 127th Street to the north, 125th Street to the south, Second Avenue to the east and Third Avenue to the west.

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