9. P.S. 157 in Harlem

P.S. 157 in Harlem was originally built in 1889 by prolific school architect C.B.J. Snyder. The school shut down in 1975 and plans to turn it into affordable housing began shortly thereafter. The building was landmarked in 1982. Developers were granted $2.2 million from the Federal government, $2.8 million via a loan from the city and $964,000 from the Community Preservation Corporation, along with a bonus $900,000 government loan devoted to remove asbestos in the building. Doing the math, each of the 73 apartments in the building cost $110,000 in 1993 dollars, more than double the average rehabilitation cost for historical redevelopment projects.

At the time, a single bedroom apartment in the building rented for roughly $500 a month, but currently an average one bedroom one bath is at over $2,300 (though some units are rent stabilized). Developers maintain that current increased prices are based on recent renovations and the rise in property value in the area. Critics have contended that historic members of the neighborhood should occupy this newly renovated building, instead of more wealthy residents who have been out-priced by new developments south of Harlem.