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Inwood public library in Manhattan reopens with new affordable housing units

The Inwood public library and new accompanying affordable housing had its long-awaited debut on Wednesday, June 26, 2024, after being closed for over three years. (Téa Kvetenadze / ˵Ӱ)
The Inwood public library and new accompanying affordable housing had its long-awaited debut on Wednesday, June 26, 2024, after being closed for over three years. (Téa Kvetenadze / ˵Ӱ)
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The revamped along with new affordable housing in the same building had its long-awaited debut Wednesday after being closed for more than three years — a rare moment of celebration for the New York Public Library, which is currently deep as part of Mayor Adams’ pending budget deal.

The branch reopened at 4790 Broadway in upper Manhattan in a new 14-story building — dubbed “The Eliza” after the wife of Alexander Hamilton — with 174 units of affordable housing. The library occupies the bottom two floors and had a soft opening last week. It features community rooms, a children’s area, a STEM center, a skylight and a universal pre-K set to open in the fall.

The branch reopened at 4790 Broadway in upper Manhattan in a new 14-story building with 174 units of affordable housing. (Téa Kvetenadze / ˵Ӱ)

“This innovative, public private partnership demonstrates the power of city government, philanthropy, and community partners working together,” said NYPL president Anthony Marx. “The end result is not just a state-of-the-art library for Inwood, but also desperately needed affordable housing and community space.”

The Inwood public library reopened on Wednesday, June 26, 2024, after being closed for over three years. (Téa Kvetenadze / ˵Ӱ)

The new library replaces the standalone one that was on the same spot until it was as part of the controversial neighborhood-wide Inwood rezoning, which received significant when it passed in 2018. Residents had access to a temporary library across the street while awaiting the opening of the new site.

View of the revamped Inwood public library (Téa Kvetenadze / ˵Ӱ).

Apartments in The Eliza range from one to three bedrooms, with approximately 15% of units set aside for the formerly homeless. Rents go from about $397 to $1,066 for a studio and $683 to $1,841 for a three-bedroom. More than for the 174 spots through the NYC Housing Connect , echoing the affordable housing shortage throughout New York.

The city has been turning to hybrid public library-affordable housing redevelopments to address the shortage, given the opportunity to build on land that’s already publicly owned. The first of its kind was opened in Sunset Park, Brooklyn in and another is in the works for the Bronx’s Grand Concourse branch.

Stephanie Herrera, 28, was one of many locals who flocked to the reopened space. The Inwood native said she is looking forward to bringing her 9-month-old daughter to the new branch.

“It’s really exciting to have somewhere else to take her,” Herrera said. “It’s a great space and we need more spaces like this here.”

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