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City Announces Plans for Business Incubator Space in Harlem

By Ben Fractenberg | November 16, 2011 2:07pm
The city is accepting proposals for a business incubator space on or around 125th Street, which would open in early 2012.
The city is accepting proposals for a business incubator space on or around 125th Street, which would open in early 2012.
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DNAInfo/Jeff Mays

HARLEM — The city is asking for proposals from companies looking for help starting up businesses in Harlem, the city announced Wednesday.

The incubator space — which is slated to open on 125th Street or within a two-block radius — will offer affordable work spaces for businesses while they try to get off the ground, as well as possible space for established tenants, the city said in a press release.

The program is part of the city's Economic Development Corporation incubator program, which was launched in 2009.

“As entrepreneurs work to create the jobs that New Yorkers need, our administration wants to help them get their ideas off the ground and into the economy,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. “As part of our strategy to diversify our city’s economy, spur innovation and create jobs, we’re adding another incubator in the heart of one of New York City’s most exciting neighborhoods, Harlem.”

Proposals for what to do with the space and where it should be located are due in mid-December.

While the preference is for the space to house new small businesses, the city is open to the idea of allowing existing businesses to become tenants in the space to keep it solvent, they said in a press release.

Among the types of business the city said it's looking to solicit include start-up businesses in "technology, new media, or services sectors; co-working space for freelancers, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and startups; or a combination of those uses."

The incubator space is expected to be chosen within the next couple months, according to the city.

The city has created more than 120,000 of square feet for small business at incubator space across the city so far, with more than 500 start-ups utilizing the space, officials said.

The Harlem incubator would be located near the Taystee Bakery Complex and the Corn Exchange Building, both located along the 125th Street commercial corridor. The city said the projects will generate 530 permanent jobs and 570 construction jobs, create more than 350,000 square feet of space, bring hundreds of millions of dollars of economic benefits to the area, and revitalize a longtime vacant site.