Daily Hip-Hop News:
Kool Herc Calls On Will Smith & Queen Latifah To Help Save Historic Hip-Hop Building
written by Janeé Bolden
Wednesday - January 16, 2008
One of hip-hop's pioneers is waging a battle that has little to do with freestyles or beatboxing - instead DJ Kool Herc is hoping to raise enough funds to keep a high-rise, who many believe is the birthplace of hip-hop, out of the hands of real estate developers.
The Bronx building where Kool Herc, whose real name is Clive Campbell, threw a now legendary house party in August 1973 may no longer be affordable to many long-time residents if they are unable to raise enough funds to buy it from the developer.
Yesterday (Jan. 15) Herc, accompanied by Senator Chuck Schumer and a number of 1520 Sedgwick Avenue tenants, called a news conference to bring attention to the resident's plight
"This is where it all started," Kool Herc said at the press conference, according to New York's Daily News. "But it's turned into a sad story. People are about to be put out of their houses."
Last February BSR Management, the company that owns the property, announced plans to take the complex out of New York's Mitchell Lama affordable housing program and sell the building to real estate developer Mark Karasick. If development plans are carried out, rents at 1520 could rise far beyond the reach of the current tenants.
While tenants were able to get the building declared eligible for listing on the State and National Register of Historic Places, the new designation had no bearing on the sale to Karasick.
Last month Karasick offered to sell the building to the tenants for $14 million, however according to Dina Levy, who works with UHAB, the nonprofit group helping the tenants, even with private lender funding and city subsidies the residents are only looking at an estimated $11.5 million, about $3.5 million short of their goal.
In the meantime, Kool Herc is hoping to enlist some of hip-hop's biggest names to dig into their wallets for the cause.
"All the Queen Latifahs and Will Smiths," Herc said in his appeal, "We're asking all those guys you see in Forbes magazine that are living hip-hop to recognize this building."
Those interested in donating can also do so online at www.save1520.org
If they are successful in their bid to buy the building, residents hope to convert the 100-unit complex into a permanently affordable, limited-equity co-op.http://www.sohh.com/articles/article.php/13456