New York real estate prince and Donald Trump son in law Jared Kushner is being accused by some of his tenants as well as a few politicians of failing to be properly concerned with the safety and quality of life in a few of his lower Manhattan buildings that are currently undergoing renovations.
It’s a typical story. A new owner takes over a residential building and decides to renovate it in order to increase its value, but does so without regard to the people who already live there.
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These complaints center specifically on 170-174 East Second Street in the East Village which are currently undergoing renovations. Residents have said that the work there has caused ceilings to collapse, water and electricity to be cut off without warning and that the air there has been filled with dust.
The tenants there held a press conference in front of their building recently at which they were joined by City Council member Rosie Mendez and Borough President Gale Brewer.
“The owners of this building need to realize they’re not just accountable to the tenants in this building — they’re accountable to all of us because we care and we’re a community, and they’re accountable to me as the councilwoman of this district, ” Mendez said.
Kushner acquired the property last year for $17 million. 70% of its residents at the time of the purchase have since moved out.
Westminster City Living manages the two buildings for Kushner. The remaining tenants there have accused Westminster of engaging in bully tactics to force out the rent stabilized residents. They also assert that the management company has ignored their requests for repairs in their apartments while the building renovations have made their lives unbearable.
The renovations are intended to raise the rental values of the buildings. The now vacated apartments have undergone upgrades which include the installation of high end fixtures and stone countertops.
Patrick Crosetto, the chief operating officer of Kushner Companies, released a statement in which he denied the allegations saying, “As always, we will continue our ongoing communication with all our residents to address any of their concerns, despite of the actions of a handful of illegal tenants who continue to sabotage our efforts for their own personal gain.”
In other words, he blamed the victims.