Rangel Got Discounts at Harlem’s Original ‘Best Address’

lenox 01 Rangel Got Discounts at Harlems Original Best AddressAmong the allegations against U.S. Representative Charles Rangel of Harlem is that he accepted shady discounts on four rent-stabilized apartments in Lenox Terrace, historically one of Harlem’s poshest addresses.

In 1968, the Times Magazine called the building, located at West 132-135th Streets between Lenox and Fifth Avenue and owned by the Olnick Organization, “Harlem’s Best Address,” according to the Olnick Organization’s Web site. Harlem looked pretty different back then.

The Times recalls today a story it reported in 2008 that first exposed the discounts. Mr. Rangel, who used one of the apartments as a campaign office, paid a total of $3,894 a month for four units, the Times says. Back in 2008, a similar bundle of analogous apartments in the building would have cost between $7,465 and $8,125 at market rates.

An employee in Lenox Terrace’s leasing office told The Observer today that a two-bedroom apartment in the building rents for between $2,100 and $2,300 a month, and a one-bedroom fetches between $1,400 and $1,750.

Mr. Rangel wasn’t the only politician to rent for cheap in Lenox Terrace. Governor David Paterson paid $1,250 a month in 2008 for a two-bedroom whose market rate was at least $2,600.

In the 2008 Times story, Mr. Rangel declined comment.

“Why should I help you embarrass me?” he said.

walden@observer.com