Post-Boom Days in Harlem

Hi readers,

The following post below comes from a NYT interview with W. Franc Perry of CB 10.It's a good read. Below is only an excerpt; click here to read the whole thing.

Community Board 10, which represents the central core of Harlem, has been at the heart of the uptown building boom in recent years. The district, which stretches from 110th Street to 155th Street and between Fifth and Eight Avenues, is home to many of Harlem’s historic institutions like the Apollo Theater, as well as many of the newer condo projects that have attracted a diverse mix of residents to this historically black neighborhood. W. Franc Perry, chairman of Community Board 10, has begun seeing signs that the boom years have given way to recession.

Q. What are the biggest signs that Harlem has been affected by the recession?

A. We’ve had an upsurge of development for the past 10 years. If you walk down any of our streets and boulevards, you’ll be able to see a lot of new high-rise condominiums and co-ops that have been erected. The apartments aren’t selling as quickly. In a majority of these buildings, the first floors of these buildings are commercial space...

...We’re also seeing a rise in unemployment. A lot of people who live in Harlem are middle-class workers who worked in some of the financial houses. They were executive assistants. Whether they worked in maintenance, whether they worked in cafeterias, whether they provided support services to the major institutions, they’re no longer working. They’re showing up at community board meetings, and we get a lot of people who come to this office résumé in hand. We had a few yesterday who just came to the board office with their résumés, saying, “If you know anything, please pass my résumé along.”

Let's hope for better days guys. Boom times will return to Harlem. It takes competent leadership who don't owe their political status to entrenched, status-quo interests, but owe their status to the people.


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