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Harlem History Making Way for Better Shopping on 125th Street

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The gentrification of the retail scene on 125th Street looked uncertain for a little while earlier this year when shopping mall developer Kimco failed to find financing for its planned office/retail project at 125th and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, and had to invite back an evicted former tenant. But soon enough Kimco was feeling optimistic again. Today it revealed the reason for its optimism: the project is no longer stalled, the Journal reports. The developer is seeking a permit to demolish the building that currently stands on the site, and is in talks with national retailers to occupy a new "retail complex." No one's signed on the dotted line, but Kimco exec David Henry isn't worried: "There is a growing acceptance by national retailers that (Harlem) is a proven market." Sounds like a new neighborhood slogan if we've ever heard one. Harlem: Our Acceptance is Growing!

But there is, Harlem Bespoke reminds us, a little history standing in Kimco's way. Currently on that corner is a 110-year-old building that was originally home to the Kelly Brothers saloon. Too bad it's not still there: Local mom-and-pops might want a drink once the identity of Kimco's mystery national retailers gets revealed.
· Kimco Readies Wrecking Ball in Harlem [WSJ]
· Wrecking Ball for Mall on 125th Street [HB]
· Kimco coverage [Curbed]