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SoHa: The New Name Realtors Are Using For a Part of Harlem

By Dartunorro Clark | February 24, 2017 9:18am | Updated on February 27, 2017 7:25am
"Harlem is Harlem," says Danni Tyson, a member of Community 10 who opposes the name SoHa to mean South Harlem.
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Angel of Harlem

The city has a new neighborhood.

In the spirit of a developer's plan to name part of The Bronx the "Piano District," the real estate industry is now dreaming up a new moniker for part of Harlem — SoHa.

Realtor Keller Williams now has a SoHa team with a dedicated office, working specifically on south Harlem.

And real estate listings giant StreetEasy has hundreds of listings for rentals, condos, co-ops and sales in the the neighborhood that apparently spans from West 110th Street to West 125th Street.

The name is supposed to identify a “trendy” southern part of Central Harlem, à la SoHo.

The only problem is, it doesn’t exist. At least according to longtime residents and the local community board.

Danni Tyson, a real estate broker and a member of Manhattan Community Board 10, which covers Central Harlem, says the move is “pretty arrogant.”

“I totally disagree with it,” said Tyson.

“To me, personally, it’s like trying to take the black out of Harlem.

"Harlem is Harlem."

Tyson said when she says she’s from Harlem people “know it exactly what it stands for.”

But, SoHa?

“It’s not something longtime residents use," she said. 

A Keller Williams representative declined to comment. 

The community board is now pushing a resolution to tell real estate brokers to stop.

Brian Benjamin, the chair of the board, said it obfuscates Harlem’s legacy, history and character.  

“Our position is, there are a lot of people who put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears, who made Harlem what it is,” said Benjamin.

“These attempts to rename neighborhoods for business gain are disrespectful to the neighborhood.”

He said the board will protest, speak out and push back against it.   

“Our job is to protect the community and not have people come in and feel like they can push the community around,” he said.

Realtors have come up with many new names for neighborhoods in the past, with some more successful at being adopted than others.

They include NoCo for north Corona in Queens, DoBro for Downtown Brooklyn, BoCoCa for Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, and Carroll Gardens, and GoCaGa for Gowanus and Carroll Gardens.