Townhouse pick of the week

A two-family Central Harlem townhouse in an opportunity zone, for $2,150,000

By Mimi O'Connor | May 21, 2019 - 5:00PM 

The townhouse is in a tax-friendly "Opportunity Zone." 

Albert Feinstein Real Estate Llc

Brick Underground's townhouse picks are typically move-in ready, but this Central Harlem listing at 156 West 128th St. caught our eye for a couple of reasons. First, the description notes that a "certificate of no harassment" is in place for the six-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath, two-family, which is listed for $2,150,000.

What is that, exactly? Under New York City law, a certificate of no harassment must be acquired for certain types of residential buildings, such as a single-room-occupancy multi-dwelling, or SRO, or one located in special districts as determined by a New York City Zoning Resolution. (It looks like this was an SRO.) This document certifies that previous tenants were not forced out of their apartments by a landlord, and renovations cannot be made to a building unless the certificate is obtained. 

Also of interest: The listing claims the townhouse is in the Harlem Opportunity Zone, which you should of course confirm). Opportunity Zones, created as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017, enable people to defer, reduce, or even eliminate taxes on capital gains. This post over at Garfield Realty's website does a nice job of explaining them, and has a Harlem-focus. 

Built in 1912, the brownstone is on a tree-lined street and has three floors. 

Some renovation has already begun. The listing says that zoning allows the owner to double the size of the existing building. (Presumably, vertically. Of course that should be confirmed.) 

Photos show wood floors and some fireplace mantels. 

As well as exposed brick. 

The townhouse is in a convenient location, a short walk to both the 2 and 3 trains at the 125th Street stop and the A, C, B, and D trains at 125th Street, as well as small parks, big box stores, and spots to eat and drink such as Sylvia's, Red Rooster, and others. 


Mimi O'Connor

Contributing Writer

Mimi O’Connor has written about New York City real estate for publications that include Brick Underground, Refinery29, and Thrillist. She is the recipient of two awards from the National Association of Real Estate Editors for interior design and service journalism. Her writing on New York City, parenting, events, and culture has also appeared in Parents, Red Tricycle, BizBash, and Time Out New York.

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