Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer says he is furious with
developers’ efforts to re-brand Harlem neighborhoods as SoHa, C-Ha and
Stringer said he is no fan of the terms for South Harlem, Central
Harlem and West Harlem, during the annual conference of the Black,
Latino and Asian Caucus of the City Council recently.
“Now I love SoHo, but I like it downtown,” he said. “We have got to
recognize that by changing the name you are changing the culture and
you are changing the city. And we can’t let it happen.”
Developers and brokers are trying to figure out how to market a large
area that includes most of upper Manhattan, from 110th Street to 155th
Prudential Douglas Elliman is developing condos known as SoHa 118, at
118th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard. A map on their Web site
identifies the neighborhood north of 126th Street as Harlem, but south
of the famous street is identified as SoHa.
Citi Habitats also includes listings for SoHa.
Corocoran Group senior associate David Daniels took a long view on name
changes, noting New York is no longer referred to as New Amsterdam. But
Daniels said he does not use the term SoHa, instead referring to the
“one teens” or 120s.
Andrew Beveridge, a Queens College professor of sociology and demographer, said the city doesn’t control neighborhood names.
“I think it happens all the time,” he said. “It is never quite clear where certain places start and stop.”
Beveridge said Harlem is a large area with various neighborhoods, so
developers will try to highlight areas that are gentrifying.
“If they are successful it is probably worth a fair amount of money to say I live in SoHa,” he said.