Wednesday, September 8, 2010
1520 Sedgwick, Birthplace of Hip-Hop Saved By $5.6 Million Loan
A building that is recognized as a Hip-Hop landmark in the South Bronx has been rescued by a federal loan that will halt the building's sale, allowing the rents to stay affordable to its hundreds of tenants.
DJ Kool Herc and Senator Charles Schumer led a campaign to stop the sale of 1520 Sedgwick Avenue from being to private investors, who planned on raising the rents and selling the property, which would have displaced many of the building's current occupants.
Additionally, the building is recognized as the place Hip-Hop music was born, when Kool Herc hosted a legendary party inside the building's recreational room in August of 1973.
The building received $5.6 million in financing through Mayor Bloomberg's New Housing Marketplace Place plan, which was created to assist physically and financially stressed multifamily buildings throughout the city.
In 2011, $3 million has been committed to make much needed repairs to 1520 Sedgwick Avenue.
“This is a huge victory for Sedgwick residents that will serve as a model for preserving affordable housing throughout New York City" said Senator Schumer. “The message here is clear, residents of 1520 Sedgwick, and residents of affordable buildings throughout the City, should not be used as pawns for predatory equity investors to make quick profits. The purchase of this note is a major milestone that we hope will be a big win for residents of Sedgwick.”
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn acknowledged 1520's contribution to the world and as grateful the building had been saved from unscrupulous speculators, who simply planned to buy the building to flip it.
“Three decades ago, DJ Kool Herc mixed funk songs with African beats and rap, and hip-hop was born during a house concert in the basements of 1520 Sedgwick,” said Speaker Christine Quinn. “Hip-hop has often been an expression of hardships and 1520 Sedgwick has seen its fair share of struggles. After the fiscal crisis, 1520 Sedgwick became a victim of predatory equity investors, and we were at risk of losing a historical and cultural landmark. But with this purchase and $3 million of Council funding for repairs, we will now see the rebirth of 1520 Sedgwick – and maybe see history created once again. I’m particularly excited that this will give tenants a chance to recreate their homes, not to mention the possibility of one day converting the building into a co-op."