Harlem, Manhattan, New York City
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Harlem is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan, long known as a major black cultural and business center. After being associated for much of the twentieth century with black culture, but also crime and poverty, it is now experiencing a social and economic renaissance.
After years of false starts, Harlem began to see rapid gentrification in the late 1990s. This was driven by changing federal and city policies, including fierce crime-fighting and a concerted effort to develop the retail corridor on 125th Street. Starting in 1994, the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone funneled money into new developments.Finally, wealthier New Yorkers, having gentrified every other part of Manhattan and much of Brooklyn, had nowhere else to go. The number of housing units in Harlem increased 14% between 1990 and 2000 and the rate of increase has been much more rapid in recent years. Property values in Central Harlem increased nearly 300% during the 1990s, while the rest of the City saw only a 12% increase. Even empty shells of buildings in the neighborhood were, as of 2007, routinely selling for nearly $1,000,000 each. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton has rented office space at 55 West 125th Street since completing his second term in the White House in 2001.
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