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Harlem Residents Complain About Fallow 125th Street Lot

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Harlem residents fought against a 2008 rezoning that would have allowed a 10-story mixed-use building to be constructed on a lot at East 125th Street and Fifth Avenue. But now that the site has sat unused for the past 16 years, and vacant for the past six, (probably different) Harlem residents are clamoring for development. "[Owner David] Israeli's plans, as well as his timeline, remain unclear, but his neighbors see the lot as a magnet for graffiti, vermin and crime," reports the Daily News. Vermin, sure. It's unclear exactly what type of "crime" is being drawn to the weed-filled fenced-in lot, and as for graffiti ... have you ever tried to spray paint on a chain link fence? Not easy. Anyway, careful what you wish for, Harlem residents.

The lot was the site of an ill-fated building in the 1990s, owned by Joseph Holland, a state housing commissioner under former Governor George Pataki, that included a Ben & Jerry's, a travel bureau, soul food restaurant La Famille, and two vacant floors that never got rented. The property was foreclosed on in 1997 and demolished ten years later by new owner Israeli. His plans for a 10-story building went belly up after the 2008 rezoning ended up being less extreme than originally expected. Now he claims that he is planning a four-story mixed-use building "by 2016."
· Overgrown lot at 125th St. in Harlem may be ready for build [NYDN]