Emmitt Smith Plans Harlem Hotel Development

Hall of Fame football star Emmitt Smith plans to add his name to the long list of developers who have pledged to build a hotel in Harlem.

The 200-room hotel, proposed to be a Hyatt, would be built on an open lot at the southwest corner of 125th Street and Lenox Avenue.

Plans call for ground and second-floor retail space that will include a Whole Foods. The majority of the third and fourth floors are slotted for a new YMCA and a cultural group.

Harlem, however, has been littered with ambitious projects that never materialized.

In February 2009, the federal government funneled $120 million to New York City to jump-start commercial projects in economically challenged neighborhoods. The city has already doled out more than $100 million to six projects, and the $19.5 million requested represents the balance of the funds.

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