The Real Deal New York

City wants back Harlem site it sold years ago

August 20, 2012 10:00AM

Now that Harlem has improved, The Real Deal reported the city is seeking proposals for a gas station on a site it once owned yet was all too quick to give away in the neighborhood’s down years three decades ago. But the entrepreneur who took over the property filed a suit in Manhattan Supreme Court to block the Economic Development Corp’s plans, the New York Post reported.

“They didn’t want it when it was in such terrible disarray over there, and now that things are good, they want to take it and do something different with it,” Carmie Elmore, who owns the BP station at the site told the Post. “I understand what they want, but I know it’s not right, and I know it’s not fair, and that’s why we’re fighting it.”

Elmore and business partners took over the site, at 2040 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, in 1981. Fifteen years later they purchased it for $1 million under an agreement that gave the city the right to repurchase the land. But the Post said that provision expired in 2008.

The city’s Law Department is reviewing the suit and said only that it “strongly disputes” Elmore’s claims. One of the few remaining gas stations in the city, the business employes 21 people. [Post]Adam Fusfeld