The New York City Capital Resource Corporation recently approved $2.2 million in Recovery Zone Facility Bonds to assist in the development of a cultural and arts center at the Kalahari Condominium in Central Harlem.

NYCCRC Approves $2.2 Million for Harlem Arts and Cultural Center
Photo courtesy of the New York City Economic Development Corp

Dedicated to the African and Hispanic cultural heritage of the residents, the approximately $9.6 million, 18,000-sq-ft MIST at the Kalahari cultural center will consist of an African/Latino fusion restaurant, a conference and performance area, three screening rooms, and film and digital media studios for training students to participate in the post-production film industry.

The cultural center was proposed as a component of the Kalahari Condominium, a LEED-certified, green, 12-story tower located at 40 West 116th Street containing 250 market rate and affordable residential units which was completed in 2008, but has been stalled due to lack of conventional financing. Financing from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which congress passed in February 2009, will enable construction to begin immediately, creating about 25 new construction jobs.

Once completed, the center which is being developed by FS Kalahari Commercial, LLC, an affiliate of Full Spectrum NY, LLC, and My Image Studios, LLC will employ about 50 people, mostly from the Central Harlem community.

“The vote is an important first step in allowing construction to begin, creating jobs for residents and invaluable training programs for area youth, while simultaneously establishing a new cultural institution reflective of the Latino and African heritage of this historic community,” said NYCCRC Chairman Seth W. Pinsky.

The project is being additionally funded by $3.9 million in conventional financing, $2.9 million in New Market Tax Credits, and $600,000 in developer equity.

It is estimated that the project will generate more than $2.2 million in revenue for the city.