Foreclosure stories aren't unusual in a post-boom Harlem, but here's one with a twist. The National Black Theater, a theater founded in 1968 to host productions by and about black Americans, is facing foreclosure for the second time in 10 years?and it blames the people who helped it out of foreclosure the first time. Confused? The Times explains.
When the building, at Fifth Avenue and 125th Street, faced foreclosure in 2002, it took on two new business partners, the owners of a beauty products company. They were supposed to manage the theater's building and its tenants, pay rent for their own space in the building, and use their own assets to take care of the theater's mortgage. But according to old e-mails, the business partners paid rent only infrequently and took out loans to build a spa that never opened. Ah, sounds like the Harlem condo boom we know and love! Now, the theater's owner alleges the businessmen chose not to pay $1.8M in property taxes to force a sale of the building. A lawsuit over the property is still making its way through the courts, so whatever the outcome, it might be a while before it hits the market.
· A Harlem Cultural Hub is Threatened by Debt [NYT]