Sale rejected of Bronx birthplace of hip-hop

March 3, 2008 6:48:39 PM PST
A building where a young disc jockey pioneered hip-hop in the 1970s has been saved from a plan that would have jacked up its rents to market rate.

During the 1970s, DJ Kool Herc began spinning records at parties in the basement recreation room of the Bronx building. The hip-hop movement then spread around the world.

Last year, tenants reached out to DJ Kool Herc after receiving word that the owner planned to leave an affordable housing program.

The 100-unit apartment building has been deemed eligible to be listed on national and state registers of historic sites.

The affordable housing program, known as Mitchell-Lama, offers owners incentives such as low-rate mortgages and tax breaks in exchange for charging tenants low to moderate rents for a certain period of time.

Sen. Charles Schumer on Monday said the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development rejected the proposed sale to a developer because current rents could not be sustained if the sale had gone through.

The New York Democrat has said: "This building, which housed hip-hop's founding father ... is a New York treasure that must be preserved as a bastion of affordable housing."