Controversial liquor store illuminates gentrification in Harlem

TRD New York /
Dec.December 02, 2011 12:56 PM

alternate
text
The new liquor store at 183 Lenox Avenue (credit: Harlem + Bespoke)
Rarely do liquor stores exemplify the tensions of a gentrifying neighborhood, where once-abandoned brownstones now garner $3 million-plus purchase prices, like the one coming to Lenox Avenue near West 119th Street in Harlem.

The New York Times reported that the liquor store owner, Behiru Mesfin, has drawn the ire of Harlem residents for a cheap-looking, bright yellow and red sign, a roll-down steel gate and low-quality liquor that recall the grittier days of the neighborhood when poor residents would sit on stoops drinking. The wealthier populace doesn’t mind a liquor store, per se, the Times pointed out, they just want one that fits in with their visions of a Park Slope-like neighborhood.

Meanwhile, longtime residents complain that the bodegas that accept food stamps, welfare check-cashing businesses and the like are disappearing from the neighborhood and driving them out. The campaign against the liquor store is taking on an “elitest tone,” according to one resident.

For now community advocates have gotten a stop-work order at the liquor store, at 183 Lenox Avenue, from the Department of Buildings, as the owner is altering a building in the protected Mount Morris Park Historic District. [NYT]


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
From left: 21 Montrose Avenue in Williamsburg, 1480 Amsterdam Avenue and 520 West 136 Street in West Harlem and 208-212 West 141st Street in North Harlem (Google Maps)

Week’s mid-market sales run gamut from $80 to $500 psf

Week’s mid-market sales run gamut from $80 to $500 psf
Manhattan Institute’s Kay Hymowitz and Bronx Community Board 6 district manager John Sanchez

Is gentrification a blessing or a curse? New Yorkers discuss

Is gentrification a blessing or a curse? New Yorkers discuss
Metro areas with less affordable housing drive high-income buyers to eye homes in lower-income neighborhoods at disproportionate rates (iStock)

TRD Insights: Gentrification happening fastest in least affordable cities

TRD Insights: Gentrification happening fastest in least affordable cities
Gary Barnett and 149 East 124th Street (Credit: Google Maps)

Extell’s plan for East Harlem development site revealed

Extell’s plan for East Harlem development site revealed
Don Lemon and Tim Malone with their apartment at 2280 Frederick Douglass Boulevard 

CNN’s Don Lemon lists Harlem condo with fiancé broker Tim Malone

CNN’s Don Lemon lists Harlem condo with fiancé broker Tim Malone
2041 Adam Clayton Powell Junior Blvd in Harlem (Credit: Google Maps)

Rent-stabilized portfolio in Harlem trades for $118M

Rent-stabilized portfolio in Harlem trades for $118M
From left: The Blau and Berg Company's Karine Blanc, TD and Partners' Nana Duncan and Lemor Development Group's Kenneth Morrison (Credit: Blauberg, TD+Partners and Lemor)

Black developers say partnerships aren’t always equal

Black developers say partnerships aren’t always equal
Corcoran's Tim Malone

Brokers in cabs: An interview with Corcoran’s Tim Malone

Brokers in cabs: An interview with Corcoran’s Tim Malone
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...