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Here's What's New—and Still on the Horizon—on Harlem's Rapidly-Transforming 125th Street



A wave of new buildings and businesses continues to transform Harlem's 125th Street.


Glossy high-rises, like the 28-story Renaissance New York Harlem Hotel that opened last August, have already significantly altered the skyline.


Major retailers set to arrive soon, including Trader Joe's, Sephora and Target, are behind the jaw-dropping changes at street level.


To track the latest shifts, TCU has taken a walk down the iconic thoroughfare between Fifth Avenue and Broadway.

Here are the most notable recent openings, plus what's still on the horizon, from east to west:


2033 Fifth Ave at 125th St

This massive 21-story residential, commercial, and cultural development is set to be the new home of the National Black Theatre, founded in 1968 at the same address. The building had its topping-out ceremony on October 3, 2023.

Theater opening: 2027


17 W 125th St between Fifth and Lenox Aves

The Cajun-style seafood boil chain now has a location on 125th Street.

Opened: March 2024


Ponty Restaurant

60 W 125th St between Fifth and Lenox Aves

A third spot from the team behind Ponty Bistro, Renaissance Harlem and Harlem Cafe looks to be opening on the ground floor of a newish rental development, according to work permits posted in the window.

Opening: TBA


66 W 125th St between Fifth and Lenox Aves

This Guatemalan chain is known for its signature fried chicken served with sides like yuca fries and beans.

Opened: March 2024


100 W 125th St between Lenox Ave and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd

The fast fashion chain shut the doors to its old location at 125 W 125th Street in August 2023, reopening a few months later across the street right next to the Whole Foods.

Opened: November 2023


The Urban League Empowerment Center at 121 W 125th Street.

121 W 125th St between Lenox Ave and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd

The glossy future home of the National Urban League will soon welcome a long list of major retailers, including Trader Joe's (here's a peek at the store's finished murals), Target and Sephora. A civil rights museum is also in the works.

Opening: Trader Joe's Harlem is "coming soon!" according to the store's website; Sephora's grand opening is set for July 19; the rest are TBA.


124 W 125th St between Lenox Ave and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd

The fast-growing chain, originally from Louisiana, is known for its simplified menu focused on chicken fingers, signature Cane's sauce, Texas toast, crinkle fries, cole slaw and drinks.


130 W 125th St between Lenox Ave and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd

The fast-casual Chinese chain recently opened in a single-story building that was once a Burger King.

Opened: winter 2024


144 W 125th St between Lenox Ave and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd

The facade is finally complete on the new Studio Museum in Harlem building, designed by architect David Adjaye. Interior work is ongoing.

Opening: TBA



222 W 125th St between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Frederick Douglass Blvd.

The British sneaker and sportswear chain recently joined other newcomers like Nike and Snipes on 125th Street.


233 W 125th St between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Frederick Douglass Blvds

Decorated with Harlem Renaissance-themed touches, this new 211-room hotel owned by Marriot includes a restaurant and piano bar on the fifth-floor lobby.

Opened: August 2023


What's Recently Opened—and Still on the Horizon—on Harlem's Rapidly-Trasforming 125th Street
The Renaissance New York Harlem Hotel sits above the new Apollo Stages at the Victoria Theater.

233 W 125th St between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Frederick Douglass Blvds

Two new flexible performance spaces run by the legendary Apollo Theater are now open in the historic Thomas Lamb-designed Victoria Theater directly under the Renaissance New York Harlem Hotel.

Opened: February 2024


248 W 125th St between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Frederick Douglass Blvds

Harlem's first licensed cannabis shop, which most of you welcomed, is now open directly across the street from the Apollo.

Opened: October 2023


Gotham Buds is Harlem's first licensed cannabis shop.

254 W 125th St between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Frederick Douglass Blvds

This rapidly-expanding Nashville-style hot chicken chain—investors include Drake and Samuel L. Jackson—is just down the block from the Chick-fil-A that opened last year.

Opened: March 2024


600 W 125th St and Broadway

Columbia University's new 34-story building will house graduate students and faculty once it's finished. McDonald's is returning to the ground level.

Estimated construction completion: 2024


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8 Comments


Jane Marcinkiewicz
Jane Marcinkiewicz
Mar 01

Thanks for updating us. I can’t wait for Target to open. I love all of the options we’ll have available. I was forced to move here for safety reasons. Thank God I found my home here because there was no peace where I was living in since the 80’s (I was born here though on 103rd and 2nd) here in East Harlem further downtown. God is good. He gave me a new home where I can have greater peace and safety here in Harlem still. I am so grateful. There is a reason why I found this apartment not any other first. I belong beside the people I know and love! God bless our community. Please pray we get al…

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Shafinaz Hussein
Shafinaz Hussein
Feb 28

Too many corporate shops. Would love more mom and pop shops with creativity / personality - cafes, diners, a book shop, more healthy food options. Also agree with better gyms and work-out spaces.

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serebe kironde
serebe kironde
Dec 14, 2023

We need better workout gyms

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rachel lexington
rachel lexington
Dec 21, 2023
Replying to

Seriously. Can we get something like Equinox but less expensive?

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Tamara Lee
Tamara Lee
Dec 13, 2023

You forgot the Raising Canes chicken fingers joint!

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Vana Phill
Vana Phill
Oct 04, 2023

Hopefully the residents will appreciate the new businesses coming to Harlem. I know I will as a long-term Harlemite.

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Jane Marcinkiewicz
Jane Marcinkiewicz
Mar 01
Replying to

There’s crime everywhere in NYC. God willing, Harlem will only get better and safer.

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