Legendary Hip-Hop co-founder DJ Kool Herc is joining forces with US Senator Charles Schumer and residents of 1520 Sedgwick Avenue to unveil a tenant-sponsored plan to buy the affordable housing project.
The location, which is noted for being the birthplace of Hip-Hop, is currently on the auction block as it stands to lose its affordable housing program when its owners, BSR Management, sell the project to a private investment group.
Since receiving notice of BSRs plans in February 2007, tenants have been actively working to preserve the cultural and affordable character of the building.
The cause received a boost later that year as 1520 Sedgwick officially became eligible for listing on the State and National Register of Historic Places as the official birthplace of Hip-Hop in July.
Last month, 1520 Sedgwick residents received another glimmer of hope when BSR offered to step out of the deal and let residents purchase the project.
Despite the gesture, residents may have an uphill battle in obtaining the property.
Preservation sales are difficult due to the inflated value of real estate throughout New York City.
1520 Sedgwick Avenue is held in high regard among Hip-Hop purists. In 1973, DJ Kool Herc laid groundwork for the invention of Hip-Hop during a party in the 100-unit apartment complex community room.
In addition to birthing Hip-Hop culture, 1520 Sedgwick Avenue is one of the few remaining affordable housing complexes in the West Bronx created through the NY State Mitchell-Lama program.
The City of New York is doing its part to help preserve the project by assisting the tenants with the preservation proposal.
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) have tentatively committed several million dollars in subsidy to advance the tenants plan.
The 1520 Sedgwick Avenue tenants, along with Schumer and DJ Kool Herc, will reveal their financial and long term ownership plan for the preservation of the project at a press conference.
The event will take place today at 9:45 am Tuesday (January 15) in the 1520 Sedgwick Avenue community room.