City eyes long-stalled makeover for dilapidated Chelsea buildings

NYC took over buildings in 1976 when Abe Beame was mayor

A cluster of dilapidated city-owned buildings in Chelsea — some vacant since Abe Beame was mayor — may finally be getting a makeover.

The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development is set to announce progress on fixing up the walk-ups, which the city has owned for more than 40 years. “They are disgusting,” one neighbor, Kathy Ellman, told Crain’s. “They look like they should be condemned.”

HPD has selected a nonprofit to begin predevelopment work, the paper reported. The redevelopment is expected to take several years.

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The city took over the buildings at Seventh Avenue and West 22nd Street in 1976, but one has been completely boarded up for years. Since 1997, the buildings have been part of the Tenant Interim Lease program, which lets tenants buy their homes at a discount.

As part of the program, the city is also supposed to provide upgrades, which has not happened. Only three families live in the properties in question.

Officials are investigating widespread mismanagement of the TIL program, which offers below-market rents to tenants who manage the city-owned buildings with the expectation they can eventually buy the apartment for as little as $250. [Crain’s] — E.B. Solomont