BatteryPark.TV gets results again: Condo conversion of 70 Battery Place falls apart

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70 Battery PlaceUpdate August 8, 2015- by Steven E. Greer

As a direct result of BP.TV informing the rent-stabilized tenants at 70 Battery Place of their rights to hold onto their apartments even during a condo-conversion process, the residents fought back and refused to be evicted. We have heard that the building owner has given up on the plans to convert this building to condo.

August 27, 2014- By Steven E. Greer

BatteryPark.TV previously described the bizarre gentrification taking place in BPC, whereby wealthy people paying high rent are being evicted by “one-percenter” billionaires owning the apartments, in order to turn them into condo buildings (the rush is to beat Janet Yellen before she raises rates and ends the real estate bubble).

Well, now the southern half of BPC is getting hit. 70 Battery Place (AKA River Watch), is being acquired by David Bistricer (Clipper Equities), who was “The worst slumlord in the city“, according to Mayor de Blasio (when he was City Advocate). In his other previous property deals, he has been sued for illegally evicting tenants as he converted those buildings (e.g. The Chelsea Hotel and Flatbush Gardens).

Most renters are unwilling to spend a dime on legal fees to fight eviction, and the conversion landlords know it. However, the real estate companies can be fought effectively without lawyers. A woman in Gateway Plaza recently fought off billionaire LeFrak who tried to evict her in retaliation for making complaints to the city about repairs needed in her apartment. They dropped her case because she knew the law. She did not spend a dime on legal fees and actually won some damages in the form of free rent.

Residents of 70 Battery Place, who are interested in purchasing their apartment and staying, are encouraged to read BP.TV’s previous stories. Importantly, 70 Battery Place is rent stabilized, which will give more power to the tenants.

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13 Responses to BatteryPark.TV gets results again: Condo conversion of 70 Battery Place falls apart

  1. DK says:

    Riverwatch is also a 80/20 affordable housing building with a contract until 2019 (according to one of our doormen) that supposedly cannot be broken. Not sure how this plays with condo conversion. Needless to say we are not happy to find out about change of ownership for the worse.

  2. Editor says:

    Yes. I mentioned that. This is hugely beneficial for the current tenants.

  3. Tom Goodkind says:

    Thanks for bringing this issue to light.

    As you note, current New York State laws impose restrictions when such stabilized buildings convert to condo, generally allowing those renting to stay and renew at stabilized rates, as long as they stay in the same unit. So it becomes a waiting game for the new owner.

    One main difference between a stabilized rental and condos is that condos may have a large group of abstentee investment owners who rent out their apartments. Once this takes hold, the building may have a large population of transient renters, a group that may not take pride and responsibility for the rules of the buildings, and the need to build a community. The condo board may not be able to attain a quorum for important capital improvement projects. Mortgages to a building with a large amount of transcient renters may also bring down property values.

    Generally our area is in the throws of this negative residential trend.

    Among other things, the sunsetting of rent protection laws of New York State in June 2015 might offer us an opportunity, through our elected officials, to tighten some current laws and push back on this trend.

  4. Editor says:

    Thanks Tom. Well said.

  5. resident of 70 Battery says:

    Hi Steve

    Hope all is well.

    Update on 17 Battery Pl. Shenanigans starting already.

    33 tenants were not given the rent checks and were told that they would be charged late fees.

    The building staff negotiated against charging a late fee.

    Telephone is answered randomly. Rent goes to a PO Box number.

    Starting a trend of unaccountability.

    Thanks

  6. dkryl says:

    My rent check got cashed a few days ago, but it’s a good idea to start making copies of everything before mailing out rent checks. The new rent bill definitely looks dodgier than previous. On the other hand, doorman says somebody just signed a two-year lease, but somehow doesn’t make me fell any more secure.

  7. jeffmignon says:

    Reacting to the previous comment. Are we speaking about 17 or 70 Battery Place, regarding tenants not receiving the rent invoice?

  8. dkryl says:

    I was talking about 70 Battery, that’s where I live. I assumed that’s what all the conversation was about, comment above me is from “resident of 70 Battery”, not sure which one is the typo 🙂

  9. resident says:

    We have to leave our 2 BR as we will need more space in the future (having twins) and they want to raise our rent from 4800 to 5300 for new tenants. is there anything we can do to fight that? since we would likely have to break our lease by about 3 months i’m worried we won’t find new tenants for that price. a part from new laundry rooms no improvements have been done on our apartment or the building that would warrant such a raise.

  10. RojoPwnz says:

    We just moved out of 70 Battery Pl, and decided to do so when they wanted to raise our rent 17% this year (from 3000 to 3500). It just didn’t make sense for us to pay that rate for a 1 BR when we could get a 2BR elsewhere for less. It’s a shame because I really liked the building and the doormen working there.

  11. Editor says:

    That is a 17% rent hike far exceeding the 2.2% allowed by rent stabilization rules that they fall under

  12. dkryl says:

    Do these rules apply to the “discounted rent” that’s on the rider to the lease and that we actually pay or the “real rent” that’s on the lease? Can they raise “real rent” by 2.2% but reduce the discount to make you pay much more? Always found this very confusing.

  13. Editor says:

    I a not a lawyer and do not know your lease, but it is my understanding that playing games with “discounted rent” etc is a sham that no judge would allow

    None of you should allow your elves to be pushed out by this slumlord

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