Issuu on Google+

VOluMe 26, NuMber 19 februArY 27-MArCh 12 2014 14 PROGRESS REPORT 20 Pgs. 14-17 I.P.n. tenants saY Low-rent aPartments Get Few rePaIrs BY SAM SPOKONY ew York’s may be a tale of two cities, but at Independence Plaza North in Tribeca, some residents say it’s a tale of two maintenance lists. Angry low- and middle-income tenants at the three-building, 1,300-unit complex say their landlord places higher priority on apartment repairs for market rate renters, leaving them with sluggish service and worse living conditions. “It’s unconscionable what they’re doing,” said one woman, who lives in I.P.N.’s 80 North Moore St. tower and who spoke anonymously to avoid angering the landlord. She explained that whole sections of her apartment’s floor tiling are constantly popping up out of place and are in desperate need of repair — but she said that whenever she makes maintenance requests, the response is slow and the job isn’t properly completed. That woman, who is in her 50s, is one of many I.P.N. tenants who live there under the city-sponsored Landlord Assistance Program (LAP), which regulates yearly rent increases in a way similar to rent stabilization. Some others at the complex — often referred to as voucher tenants — receive federal subsidies through the Section 8 housing program. “I don’t think I should have to get out of bed in the morning and trip over the tiles, and I’m just so disgusted to be living with a floor that looks like a junkyard,” said the LAP tenant, who added that some of her low- and middle-income neighbors are living with perpetually leaky radiators or cabinets falling off the wall. “ We just want this place to be decent and livable,” she added. The distinct “classes” of I.P.N. tenants — voucher/LAP and market rate — emerged after the landlord, Laurence Gluck’s Stellar Management company, took the complex out of the state’s Mitchell-Lama middle income program in 2004. A voucher tenant who also declined to give her name said that when she and other similar tenants report broken appliances, such as stoves or dishwashers, the landlord only allows them to be replaced n Continued on page 7 Downtown Express photo by Sam Spokony Seaport developer Chris Curry of Howard Hughes Corp. joined with Councilmember Margaret Chin, left, Gail Brewer, Manhattan borough president, and Catherine McVay Hughes of Community Board 1 to announce the members of the Seaport Working Group. New group named to bridge disagreement over Seaport development BY JOSh rOgerS ow the Seaport work begins. Last November, Howard Hughes Corp. announced plans to redevelop the South Street Seaport with a 600foot mixed use building, which drew near universal opposition from local leaders. A month ago, the firm agreed to join these leaders in a working group to find consensus. On Tuesday night, they came together to say they had agreed who would be in the group. Now the Seaport Working Group hopes to find consensus in the next three months before Hughes Corp. goes forward with a formal application to develop the New Market Building, the tower site, the Tin Building and the surrounding area. “You’ve asked for it and you’ve got it,” a triumphant Councilmember Margaret n Chin, said Feb. 25, at a press conference at the beginning of Community Board 1’s full board meeting. Consensus will no doubt be difficult since the group includes Hughes and a few of its supporters such as the Downtown Alliance, as well as people who favor landmarking the proposed tower site, the New Market Building, including members of Community Board 1 and Save Our Seaport. Chris Curry, who is overseeing the Seaport project for Hughes, said he looked forward to working with the community. “We embrace the historical significance of the place, and we believe this process is a great step forward for the project” he said, as he stood with three of the group’s leaders — Chin, Borough President Gail Brewer and Catherine McVay Hughes, C.B. 1’s chairperson who 5 15 CANAL ST RE ET • N YC 10 013 • C OPYRIG HT © 2013 N YC COMMU N ITY MED IA , LLC has no connection to the corporation. The goal of the group, according to the Feb. 25th press release announcing it, is to develop a set of “governing principles” that will guide any development proposals. The final plan should complement the historic district, while it “maintains vital Seaport infrastructures, and reflects the increasing need for services and amenities geared toward Lower Manhattan’s growing residential population.” Brewer, who last year was the only city councilmember to oppose the Hughes firm’s plan to redevelop nearby Pier 17, said she thought consensus was possible. One of the leading opponents of Hughes’ plans, Robert LaValva, founder of the Seaport’s New Amsterdam Market, Continued on page 27


Related publications