Fighting to Save the Birthplace of Hip-Hop

Every spot in NYC seem to be up for sale. Especially 520 Sedgwick Ave in the Bronx. If you don’t know, that the area where DJ Kool Herc had his block parties and thus, hip-hop was born there. It’s basically an affordable apartment complex. However, last year, BSR Management, the property’s owner, announced plans to sell the 100-unit complex to Mark Karasick, a private equity investor. The residents feared that the new owner will raise rent, booting out most (or all) of the residence. So, they are fighting back by buying the building from Mark Karasick and converting the complex into a co-op.

Interesting idea to save the community from gentrification. So far, they managed to raise $11.5 Million, 3 million short of the asking price. Mark Karasick, however, isn’t going to lower his asking price, even thought they managed to raise a lot of money in a short time.

Other considerations, such as making the building a historical landmark status, had been considered. Sadly, it’s a timely process to see if the city of NY will even consider such a thing a historic landmark. (Graceland, the storied home of Elvis Presley the "King of Rock", is listed as one.)

Will there be a victory here? Some people feel that they are using the "hip-hop" status just to get out of paying rent. However, this deal is between the residents and the owner. For now, only time will tell.

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