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