Thursday, January 31, 2008
The Reconquest of Harlem
The beautiful Vornado building pictured here will be structured as an interlocking complex of luminous sqares and sited in the heart of Harlem, on the famous 125th Street. Rents will be half those of similar buildings in Midtown. Tenants could also get tax breaks. The main occupier will be the Major League Baseball communication company. However, New York City is set to rezone 125th Street and restrict building heights in such a way that the tower would be about 40 feet too tall. The company is hoping for an exemption. Local officials are also very concerned that the current wave of gentrification is displacing not only longtime residents, specifically the vibrant multi-ethnic African and Hispanic populations, but also small retail drug dealing and pimping businesses on the 125th Street that had stuck it out through the bad times in Harlem.