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City-Owned Decrepit Chelsea Buildings May Finally Be Renovated

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Decrepit property on the corner of Seventh Avenue and West 22nd Street in Chelsea. (Photo Credit: Propertyshark.com)

Building at 224 West 22nd Street is a far cry from the appearance of its dilapidated neighbor. (Photo Credit: CityRealty)

Vacant buildings in Chelsea that have long been an eyesore for the area may finally get some much need renovations. The properties on the corner of Seventh Avenue and West 22nd Street have been owned by the city for over 40 years, and have been basically abandoned that whole time.

On Thursday night, May 25, a meeting is being hosted by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to reveal the current progress on fixing the decrepit buildings.

Chelsea resident Kathy Ellman, who has advocated for years for the city to take action, told Crain’s, “They are disgusting. They look like they should be condemned.”

Only three families live in the buildings, one of which has been boarded up completely for many years. Back in 1976, the city took over ownership of the buildings.

According to Crain’s, “Then in 1997, the buildings were entered into the Tenant Interim Lease program, which provided upgrades to apartments and allowed residents to purchase them at affordable prices. That program minted thousands of new city homeowners but never fulfilled its pledge of fixing particularly problematic properties, such as the ones in Chelsea. The program has been revamped as the Affordable Neighborhood Cooperative Program and is now working to create 18 affordable cooperative units at the sites.”

No funding has been provided for the “gut-rehab” project, which is likely to take many years to finish. However, a nonprofit has been chosen by the HPD to meet with the existing tenants and start the predevelopment work soon.

By Rebecca Gold

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