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Controversial truck stop set to open Monday in Central Harlem

Controversial truck stop set to open in Central Harlem
Controversial truck stop set to open in Central Harlem 02:16

NEW YORK -- Central Harlem will become home to a new place for trucks to park on Monday after a blocked attempt to build apartments on the 145th Street site led to a decision no one wanted. 

Developer Bruce Teitelbaum has a few finishing touches left on his big rig parking lot.

Instead of more than 900 new apartments, neighbors will now live next door to trucks lining up to leave a lasting impact on their lungs. 

Construction materials are cleared out on the vacant lot, one of two places for up to 80 work trucks to park on the block. 

"You don't need a truck stop because we're in New York ... If anything, if they want to put something there, they need to put residential housing," one Harlem resident said. 

Neighbors wonder what benefit this will bring. 

"I ride the train everyday going to work and there's so many homeless people on the train. Put a building there," said another resident. 

Neighbors' chief concern is their children. City data shows Central Harlem already has the highest rate of childhood asthma in Manhattan - without the effect of extra exhaust. 

"They're gonna probably be running idle and you have people that are living around here in the area, which is going to increase the problems of having asthma and other respiratory problems," said another Harlem resident. 

When Community Board 10 and Council Member Kristin Richardson Jordan refused to rezone the One45 site for mixed-use apartments, pushing for even more affordable housing, they did not expect the resulting outcome. 

"Truly affordable housing just based on the incomes of the community was important. But we had other concerns around density and transportation. You know, quality of life issues," said Community Board 10 Land Use Chair Karen Dixon. 

Teitelbaum spoke with CBS2's Jessi Mitchell last week. 

"I recognize this is not something that a lot of folks in the community will embrace, and I feel badly about that. We didn't want to do this, but we have no other viable choice," said Teitelbaum. 

"What were some of the other options you considered?" asked Mitchell. 

"Well, in current zoning, it's kind of difficult. You can put a pet cemetery here, a barbershop, some retail. But as you can see, there is some retail here and there will continue to be retail here," said Teitelbaum. 

For now, Teitelbaum has not ruled out reapplying for rezoning.

Local leaders look forward to having another conversation at the negotiation table. 

"All of those things that he promised, we still hope for those things to actually come to fruition," said Community Board 10 Chair Cicely Harris. 

Teitlebaum said the site is set to open Monday and will operate on a relaxation rotation for drivers who need to idle their ride. 

Friday, Community Board 10 issued a resolution condemning the truck depot. To read it, click here.

Have a story idea or tip in Harlem? Email Jessi by CLICKING HERE.

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