Stop Work Orders? Fuggetaboutit!

Although there was a Stop Work Order in effect at 102 West 86th Street, this did not stop Rick Eisenberg and company from building an exterior deck on the roof of the 2nd floor rear apartment and converting a window into a full-length french door resulting in a “change of use” (from roof to deck) and a “change in egress” (from window to door) in a landmark building, no less. Construction permit? Fuggetaboutit!

Although many complaints were filed with the DOB, and an inspector actually was able to view the deck as witnessed by a tenant in the building, the issue is closed on the DOB web site claiming they were “unable to gain access”. Hmmm…..Actually, it’s really astonishing to note the low ratio of complaints to violations in many of their buildings.

Meanwhile, here are some pics of the deck construction which was built by a small army at an amazing pace within five days between May 8th and May 13th, 2008:

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This is the same building that recently converted two apartments on the top floor into one apartment so that it would no longer be governed under rent stabilization rules. Cute!

Capo Ari Paul Orders Tenant Garden Destruction

In an April 15, 2008 article entitled THEY PAVED PARADISE: FLOWER FUROR ON W. SIDE, Chris Erikson of the New York Post reports that Regina Metropolitan Company’s managing agent, Ari Paul of RCR Management Services, ordered the destruction of a thriving 300 square foot plot at 27 W. 96th St. that a rent stabilized tenant couple had tended for 15 years, despite the pleas of block residents and the building’s tenants who signed petitions and sent faxes pleading with the owner to spare the garden.

Before the destruction

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Apparently, his henchmen ripped up/trashed close to 200 plants worth thousands of dollars – including rare varieties that were starting to bud, which devastated tenants in the building. His letter claimed that he was removing the garden to keep the building “free of health and safety issues.”

Many in the building noted that the garden had never created a problem and called the botanical blitzkrieg a hostile act toward rent-stabilized and rent-controlled tenants.

Jeff (pictured here and captioned “From Bloom to Gloom”) and Louise Kindley, a writer and a social worker who started the garden 15 years ago, had filled it with foxgloves, delphiniums and other blooms from upstate.

After the destruction

aftergarden

Ari Paul did not return telephone calls to the New York Post for comment. Now that’s a surprise.

Let the Brockholst Children Breathe Lead Dust

According to a NY Times article by Christopher Gray on January 2, 2000, Marcus Retter and his father-in-law, Charles Rosen a/k/a Chiel Rosenblatt, bought the 1890 Romananesque revival building at 101 West 85th Street, called the Brockholst, in 1956.

Although this was another building with a Stop Work Order, a complaint was filed on May 12, 2008 regarding an illegal renovation of apartment #4 on the 5th floor. Another surprise is the fact that there is no Complaint Disposition/Inspection History by the NYC DOB.

Meanwhile, Richard Eisenberg’s General Contractor, Eliot Gans, officially filed for a permit on June 18, 2008 to renovate apartment #5-4 as follows:
ALTERATION TYPE 2 – GEN.CONSTRUCTN.
RENOVATE APARTMENT REPLACE EXISTING FIXTURES IN EXISTING LOCS W/NEW ADD ONE HANFICAP ADAPTABLE BATHROOM INSTALL DROP CEILING THROUGOUT USING 2 2/1″ MTL STUB FRAMING RENOVATE EXISTING PARTITIONS W/ SHEETROCK RELOCATE KITCHEN AS SHOWN O N DRAWING FILED HEREWITH NO CAHNGE IN USE EGRESS OR OCCUPANCY [sic]

Here is what the dumpster in front of the Brockholst looked like on July 9, 2008:

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Wow. The overflowing dumpster would seem to indicate a full “gut” demolition/renovation rather than what was filed. Hmmm…..

Meanwhile, the dust and debris in the building was unparalleled, not to mention the dislodging of vermin (waterbugs, mice, rats) formerly living behind the walls, and made it all the worse for children and numerous dogs and cats who live in the building.