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NEW YORK CITY-The New York City Industrial Development Agency approved $8.5 million in sales and real estate tax benefits for a $200-million multi-use project in Harlem that is expected to create as many as 1,500 new jobs. Harlem Park, a 549,000-sf building at 125th Street and Park Avenue was first unveiled a year ago. Half of the project will be a Marriott Courtyard Hotel–the first hotel development in the area in nearly 40 years–with the remainder to be office and retail space as well as a catering facility and underground garage.

The building will be constructed on a 53,000-sf parcel of vacant land, which will be leased from the current owner, the New York College of Podiatric Medicine. The total office space will be about 167,000 sf, and the retail space will be about 62,000 sf. Plans for the hotel include 230 rooms, with conference space and a health club.

IDA president Andrew Alper says the area “continues to grow as one of New York’s emerging business districts. The Harlem Park project is further proof that the area is undergoing tremendous economic development.”

Developer 1800 Park Avenue LLC is led by a joint venture comprised of Michael Caridi, chairman of Majic Development Group, and Raymond P. Caldiero, chairman of the Sequoia Group. The partnership is working with the Marriott Corp. for the hotel portion of the project. The project is also eligible for Industrial and Commercial Incentive Program and Empire Zone assistance.

The IDA board also approved up to $25 million in Civic Facility Bonds to provide St. Francis College, a co-educational, liberal arts college in Brooklyn Heights, with funds to build and equip a 35,000-sf eight-story academic center. The new building will house a modern library, 14 technologically equipped classrooms, a performing arts facility and new meeting rooms. The $32-million project is expected to create 21 new jobs and retain 291 current ones, according to IDA officials.

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