HISTORY OF MANHATTAN VALLEY
Valley Restoration Local Development Corp. (VRLDC) services an area known as Manhattan Valley from 100th to 110th Streets from Central Park West to Broadway. We have been in existence since 1979 and have responded to the needs of our businesses and to the community at large.
In 1979 a coalition of community organizations banded together into what became known as the “COALITION TO SAVE MANHATTAN VALLEY.” This came about when the deterioration of the neighborhood reached a point where 22% of the housing units were lots, landlords abandoned buildings, the population declined, buildings were being demolished. In contrast to this destruction, the area below Manhattan Valley around Columbus Avenue, gentrification was taking place in the 1980’s. Small businesses were being replaced by trendy shops and chain stores, local residents were being removed by landlords who saw the changes taking place and due to the lack of housing in the city were able to charge exorbitant rents. Seeing this, the Coalition to Save Manhattan Valley organized an intensive campaign to prevent the removal of small businesses and long term residents. As a result of this effort, VRLDC came into being and became the business advocate for small merchants in the area.
In the beginning VRLDC was funded by the NYC Office for Business Development (now known as the Department of Business Services), the commercial revitalization department. VRLDC granted business loans, grants, tree plantings, new facades, new sidewalks, new signage, all in the effort to help small businesses.