By Carla Zanoni
UPPER MANHATTAN — Northern Manhattan is one step closer to its very own children’s museum and new affordable housing.
The Broadway Housing Communities (BHC) announced that it would go forward with a $70 million plan to build a 13-story building on West 155th Street and St. Nicholas Place on the border of Washington Heights and Harlem.
The new structure will house 124 apartments and the Faith Ringgold Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling, named after Harlem native Faith Ringgold, an artist famous for her large painted story quilts.
Paving the way for the new project was unanimous vote of support from the City Council on Oct. 13, which passed the rezoning change and easement necessary to build the new structure.
"The proposal has the potential to achieve multiple goals: increase the availability of much needed affordable housing, increase access to quality early childhood education and increase the cultural opportunities in a unique way that compliments the particular history of West Harlem and lower Washington Heights," Councilman Robert Jackson wrote in a letter to the BHC.
The next step is mayoral approval of the rezoning request from commercial to residential use.
If approved, BHC hopes to break ground by the end of the year and complete the project by 2012.