DMX Sells Harlem Brownstone

DMX is reportedly selling his three-story Harlem, N.Y., brownstone for $1.9 million, having realized that he hasn't utilized the space.

The Yonkers, N.Y., rapper (born Earl Simmons) bought the Fifth Avenue spot, which is opposite Mount Morris Park, in 2001 for $750,000 in cash, according to the New York Times.

It was purchased during what was considered the "Harlem Brownstone Revival."

At the time, many celebrities invested in similar brownstones in the culture-rich Manhattan neighborhood.

DMX's home has remained empty and desolate, the rapper said, because it is technically a rooming house, which means it is protected by city rules and cannot be rented out as individual apartments.

The rapper said he paid $300,000 to a contractor, who is allegedly no longer in business, to obtain a new certificate of occupancy but the work was never completed.

In 2002, a building inspector issued a stop-work order because construction was being done without a permit.

DMX was fined $2,500 when he did not show up for a hearing regarding the construction.

He was later sued for $210,000 by an electrician who fell off a ladder while working on a light over the front door--another case where Simmons did

not show up to court.

While the home remained vacant, a pipe burst during the winter of 2003, flooding the home and causing considerable damage.

The Worker's Compensation Board later put a $30,000 lien on the home and the IRS placed an additional $370,459 lien on DMX's property due to unpaid taxes, according to city records.

After transferring the deed to the home to his wife, Tashera Simmons, to prevent further liens, he hired a new team to file new plans to legalize the conversion from a rooming into four apartments.

Trisha Lum, DMX's manager, said last week that DMX was on tour in Germany, and that the late mortgage payments in the past had been due to changes in the rapper's record label staff.

Lum added that DMX was working with the I.R.S. to resolve the lien over his back taxes. "This place has been basically vacant all this time," she said. "We are getting a new certificate of occupancy."

At press time, Lincoln Minott, the agent handling the sale, noted that there was an offer of $1.6 million on the house, contingent on obtaining the new certificate of occupancy.

Once that happens, he said, he expects the home to sell quickly.