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February 16, 2006

Preserving Slums, One Building At A Time

Today's NY Sun has an interesting feature by David Lombino about two couples trying to renovate a dilapidated tenement in Harlem. Basically, the story explains (in part) why apartments are so hard to find in this town: the city government makes it nearly impossible for people to cut through the red tape to get anything done. For example, even though they planned to gut the building and essentially rebuild it from scratch, the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development required them to first remove all of the building's code violations. In other words, they had to fix it up before they could tear it down. (For pictures and detailed time line of the project, click here.)

As absurd as this sounds, based upon my own experience as board president in a loft cooperative building here in Manhattan, it is entirely typical.

February 16, 2006 at 03:14 PM | Permalink

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