Developer rises in Harlem

Sporting a goatee, half smile and furrowed brow, Henry Vargas gazes from a billboard at the intersection of 145th Street and the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx. The message: “Henry Vargas Presents” Vargas’s suave visage, superimposed above a misty shot of the Manhattan skyline, will hover above this forlorn intersection for a year, but he’s also seeded the heart of Harlem and other areas with ads, and he has one planned for Times Square. The billboard idea “bubbled in my head” for a year and a half, he said, but his ambition has outpaced his delivery. For weeks, the Web site address advertised on the billboards has consisted of a static welcome page promising that the site will be “up and running really soon.” Vargas, 33, president of Vargas Realty Group and an owner of 1,000 residential units in New York City, is becoming increasingly involved with development opportunities in Harlem north of Central Park. more By Marc Ferris

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