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Monday, November 8, 2010

Former President Clinton Stays in Harlem


I’m in love with the idea that Former President Bill Clinton occupies office space in historic Harlem, NYC. Clinton who chose the 14-story building at 55 W. 125th Street for his offices after leaving the White House, has signed up for another 10 years on this 8,715 square foot space on the building's top floor.

Regarding the new lease, rent for the space will total about $399,931 annually during the lease's first five years. The lease was renewed at approximately $100,000 less annually than the current rent of about $506,777.

The joke goes that Bill Clinton was actually our first black president with swag unparalleled until President Obama came along. His occupancy of the space has helped to usher in a gentrification of “SoHa” or south Harlem.

While at times I am leery of gentrification efforts as they may take away from the authenticity of a historic area, forcing the original residents into more dilapidated confines by the skyrocketing rents, I am in high hopes that Harlem developers are cognoscente of the need for affordable housing and that the residents of Harlem hold them accountable to do so.


Efforts to revive the historic town of Overtown established in 1896 here in Miami are being headed up by Amy Rosenberg of The Overtown Music Project. Rosenberg explains that Overtown was once known as the “Harlem of the South” in part by the numerous hotels and night clubs, theaters and restaurants in an area once was known as “Little Broadway."

The Overtown Music Project will bring back some of the area’s historic luster with a series of multi-sensory concerts in historic Overtown landmarks as well as in venues all over the City. The Overtown Music Project will shine a light on the different genres of music that once made Overtown’s integrated nightclubs the rhythmic epicenter of musical Miami. A diverse audience will witness musicians from the area’s heyday as well as emerging artists take on jazz, blues, bebop, big band, soul, funk and gospel music in an atmosphere of reverence and love.

Let this be the beginning of the Overtown revival. I am excited at the possibilities.

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Kelliann McDonald is an author, a marketing and public relations strategist and a community advocate. A recognized #BrandMotivator™, McDonald works to generate results that attain and surpass brand and organizational objectives. For more from McDonald, Follow her on Twitter @KelliannMc, Like her on Facebook.com/KelliannMc or Follow her on Instagram @kMcDiva for #CasualKel photos.
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