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October 9, 2008

Tin Pan Alley up for sale, may be demolished

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The New York real estate market is a cooky place to be. Many old buildings, like the one in which I live, is at risk of being torn down.

At the center of the spotlight is an area of Manhattan known as Tin Pan Alley. This series of buildings is the former home of George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and other great American songwriters. Now it is up for sale.

Five buildings on West 28th Street in Chelsea are being offered as a group for $44 million. The real estate listing even shows the a rendering of a potential high-rise building that would fit nicely on the lot.

The problem is, like in my building, there are a lot of rent stablized tenants who can't be evicted. Instead, they must be bought out of their homes - even though they don't own them.

The tenants in Tin Pan Alley say they want $1 million each to move. New York preservationists aren't happy either.

"These buildings are incredibly significant to the development of New York City," says Historic Districts Council Executive Director Simeon Bankoff. "They helped launch the careers of songwriters and musicians who are still popular today."

The buildings which set along West 28th Street have been for sale since September. No word yet on whether or not any developers have show interest.



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