Citarella Eviction From Disputed Harlem Site Upheld by Court

Citarella Eviction From Disputed Harlem Site Upheld by Court

The state’s appeals court ruled the city was right when it evicted Citarella from the former Taystee Bakery site.

Citarella Leaves Disputed Harlem Site

By Jeff Mays

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

HARLEM — A court has upheld the city’s eviction of gourmet grocery chain Citarella from the former TaysteeBakery site on West 125th Street in Harlem.

The city filed suit against the high-end grocery chain, saying it failed to fulfill its agreement to develop warehouse space when the property was purchased for $850,000 in 1999. The city won its case last year and earned the right to evict the chain from the space it has occupied since 2005, but Citarella owner Joseph Guerra appealed the ruling to the State Supreme Court, Appellate Division.

The city’s Economic Development Corporation, confident that it would win the new case, had already issued requests for expressions of interest to develop the property in November.

“We are pleased the court has upheld this decision,” said EDC spokesman Kyle Sklerov. “We are still reviewing responses to the request for expressions of interest and we look forward to activating that site as soon as possible.”

The chain, which was purportedly developing a multi-use facility, vacated the store on April 18, stripping it clean of all equipment. Outside, it posted a sign saying that it would be “abandoning its attempt at developing affordable housing at the former Taystee Bakery property, because of a lack of municipal support for that project.”

“It was a pleasure to serve the Harlem community and we are disappointed to leave,” the note continued.

Citarella representatives did not respond to a request for comment. The store has three other locations in Manhattan, on the Upper West Side, Upper East Side and Greenwich Village. The court proceedings have yet to conclude and city officials believe the store is likely to appeal the most recent ruling.

The former Taystee Bakery site is a six-building, 134,000-square-foot complex located at 461 W. 125th St. and 426-458 W. 126th St. Recent proposed zoning changes to the area may make it possible for residential housing to be built on the West 126th Street side of the project.

Community Board 9 chair Larry English demanded a say in choosing the new developer, calling the site one of the most crucial developments in West Harlem.

EDC president Seth Pinsky agreed to work more closely with a task force from the community board but denied them final say on the project, saying it might cause conflicts of interest and would set a bad precedent and clog projects in the pipeline.

English said that EDC is in the process of paring down five of the remaining 16 submissions to three finalists. The board’s executive committee is meeting with EDC this month to hear about the three finalists.

EDC has discussed only the nature of the project with the task-force, leaving out details on the names of developers and any financial arrangements. Some CB 9 board members criticized the upcoming meeting, saying it should be “more transparent.”

However, English says EDC has allowed the CB 9 task-force to provide “lots of input.”

“It’s not a perfect process but its moving forward. I wanted to make sure someone from the community was at least in the room,” English said.


Police Hunt for Harlem Bank Robbery Suspect

Police Hunt for Harlem Bank Robbery Suspect

Police Looking for Harlem Bank Robbery SuspectThe man allegedly handed a note to a Chase Bank teller. (NYPD)

By Ben Fractenberg

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

HARLEM — Police are looking for a suspect in a Harlem bank robbery.

The man allegedly handed a note demanding money to a teller at the Chase Bank located at 350 W. 125th St. about 8:20 a.m. Monday.

Police Looking for Harlem Bank Robbery SuspectPolice are looking for this man in connection with a bank robbery on 125th and St. Nicholas Avenue Street on May 2, 2011. (NYPD)

Police described the suspect as a black man between 40 and 49 years old. He is approximately 5 feet, 9 inches tall and 170 pounds. The man was last seen wearing a black leather coat, blue button-down dress shirt and black slacks. The suspect was also wearing large glasses, which may have had white frames, police said.

If you have information on his whereabouts you can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). You can also submit your tips at or by texting 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering “TIP577.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. Misquoted After Osama Killed

Martin Luther King, Jr. Misquoted After Osama Killed

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

A lot of things get lost in translation when a major death occurs and one of them happened to be a Dr. Martin Luther King quote after Osama Bin Laden’s death.

A quotation falsely attributed to Luther King Jr. began making the rounds after news of bin Laden’s death broke, reported The Atlantic. In 24 hours the fake quote had gone viral. Here’s what it said:

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr

A simple Google search reveals that the phrase cannot be traced back to King. Placing the phrase in quotation marks and searching it yields no confirming sources.

The Atlantic suggests the phrase was started by a 24-year-old Jessica Dovey, who is an English teacher in Japan. According to them, Dovey added the phrase to state her own opinion while adding a subsequent MLK Jr. quote, but accidentally linked the two.

Read more at WaPo


Top 5 MLK Speeches