New York City, NY, USA

As Central Harlem Gentrifies, Holdouts Remain

One longtime resident stands to make a 2,000% profit on a home he bought in 1995 — but he's not biting.

Photo by: Zillow This four-story, five-bedroom brownstone in Central Harlem is listed at $1,899,000. Down the street, longtime resident Joseph Wardally refuses to sell his brownstone, for which he paid $85,000.

We love hearing stories about longtime residents of gentrifying neighborhoods who refuse to sell their homes — even if they stand to make millions. That's why this article in the New York Daily News caught our eye. As the march toward gentrification continues in Central Harlem, the News spoke to one longtime resident who's decided to stay put rather than sell his home for a staggering profit.

Joseph Wardally, 60, paid a piddly $85,000 for his four-story brownstone on West 127th Street back in 1995. Today he says he could snag $1.8 million for the home. But he's not budging. "People knock on my door all the time asking, 'Do you want to sell your home?'" Wardally told the News. "I say no. I am not putting it on the market. I like it here. I am not moving."

To give you an idea of how the Central Harlem real estate landscape is changing, Wardally lives a few doors down from 50 West, a new condo building where a two-bedroom home recently sold for close to $1 million. Within a several-block radius, plenty of homes are on the market for $1 million to $3 million. Meanwhile, real estate agents are branding the neighborhood NoHa, for North Harlem. "That's a bunch of crap," Wardally says. "We are not Soho, Noho. We should be who we are."

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