Tuesday, July 14, 2009

At 504-508 E. 12th Street: Buyers beware

Massey Knakal has 504 and 508 E. 12th St. listed for $15 million. According to the property description:

The subject properties are two contiguous 6-story, mixed-use, walk-up apartment buildings totaling approximately 30,900 square feet. The property has fifty-four (54) residential units above four (4) stores on the ground floor. Of the fifty-four (54) residential units, twenty-seven (27) are free market, twenty-five (24) are rent stabilized and three (3) are rent controlled. The property has four unit types: two (2) studios, eleven (11) one bedrooms, thirty-seven (37) two bedrooms and four (4) three bedrooms. The rent regulated apartments are renting for approximately $28/NSF or 37% of market. All of the free market apartments have been gut renovated featuring new hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.

I'm not sure how long these have been here ... if you look at the building, between Avenue A and Avenue B, there are yellow posters (six in total) on display in several windows.

To help you read it:

I know some of the backstory here about the landlord(s), though not enough to feel comfortable writing about... If you have something to add about the addresses/landlord(s), please feel free to share more in the comments.


Larry Slade said...

I know several people who live in this building. I even did over 20 years ago. Some have a pre-renovation bathtub-in-the-kitchen places.
One writes a popular blog, maybe she will chime in.
My best friend lives there. She was offered a buy out some years ago. They wanted to give her ownership of a place uptown like in the W. 140s right across the street from the stinky sanitation "park" along the river.

Over the past year there has been a lit of work going on there.

Goggla said...

Hmm. Is this part of that huge chunk of the EV that was sold off to that giant developer a couple of years ago? I could be getting my take-overs mixed up...

Anonymous said...

Yes, this building is part of the infamous East Village parcel of 17 building sold by Extell after just a year of ownership to new landlords, the predatory equity firm of Westbrook. (Massey Knakel is now offering them for sale separately.) PVE Associates is the management outfit. Ben Shaoul is behind PVE (although he has tried strenuously to deny that fact).

Jill said...

I did post the for sale notice for all 17 properties a while back:


The yellow signs are courtesy Cooper Square/Brendan and folks. The problem is you can't see them too well from the street. The other problem are the youngsters who have moved into the renovated apartments don't give a shit.

The renovated apartments are leaking like crazy, and in one that I know of they put the toilet next to the exterior wall without proper insulation and it froze during the winter. When these kids called the landlord to complain that they couldn't flush, they were told "wait til it warms up," which they did!

I don't think anybody over at PVE is denying they are Ben Shaoul any longer. It was all over the news when Cooper Square had their big moment about predatory landlords, and it has been proven more ways than midnight.

I do believe that they have finished harrassing the rent stabilized tenants and have moved on to something else. The same unnamed "Josh" no longer answers the phone, and he was their strong arm that made people cry.

I've been looking in the cushions for $15 million and would buy it in a second but where oh where does one get that kind of cash. If you add it all up it is somewhere around $300,000 per unit.

Jill said...

One more thing: these buildings used to have Ciao For Now (LL wouldn't negotiate so they moved down the block), Jubb's Longevity (I saw him around I think he still lives across the street) and a caterer. There was also a Brazilian art dealer and some other very short lived things recently. All that's left is a hair dresser. The stores have been empty forever (if you don't count that they are using it for storing old appliances and a bunch of stacked chairs) which is another reason I think the LL has moved on.

Anonymous said...

Seems the LL hasn't moved on from 211 Avenue A, another Westbrook property; they recently found a tenant for the space downstairs (Ave A @ 13th), a bar called Destination. Who knows how long it will last, though. It's been pretty crowded but when I passed last night around 9pm there was one person in the whole place.

Good to hear "Josh" is no longer answering the PVE phone. What a straight-up assface that dude was.

EV Grieve said...

Thanks for all the comments.

I thought that you did a post on those buildings, Jill -- I couldn't find the link for some reason...thanks for posting it here.

Anonymous said...

I believe these buildings were once owned by the Resolution Trust Corporation during the savings and loan debacle.

Jill said...

Years ago the LL defaulted and the buildings went into a trust that was run by somebody overseen by the city, which was just before Merlon took it over, another creepy organization that wouldn't reveal who the actual owners were (a bunch of lawyers investing in real estate) who put those 17 buildings together as the investment package. They were also the first ones to try to buy out tenants for meager sums and then that weird relocation program mentioned by "Larry" that nobody went for, but sent the woman he refers to into a deep depression. Visiting the apartments that overlooked a garbage dump in a neighborhood with no services (then) really scared her for reasons she still can't articulate because the shock was overwhelming.

Prior to that they were owned by the infamous snake oil salesman and alleged coke dealer whose name I won't mention but he made a big name for himself in the 'hood. He has moved on to developing lofts in St. Louis.

It would have been ideal to buy the buildings at the time the trust took them over, I think they were available for under $300,000 (50 units!) but unfortunately it was the 80's when the tenants were barely scraping by and nobody could predict what was about to happen in the EV. It was also the time of rent strikes, burglaries, muggings, rats, fires, leaks, pit bull fights, suicide and colorful stories that could fill a thousand blog posts.

Father Mancini's Corner said...

Pre Merlon, pre Extell, pre Westbrook, around 1992, when 504-508 was in receivership and a lawyer for the RTC was collecting rent, there was a rent strike and a movement (with the help of GOLES) to try to allow the tenants to buy their individual apartments. The RTC wouldn't go along with it, so the plan didn't get off the ground. The asking price at the time was $1 million for the entire double building, which was thought by most observers at the time to be way too expensive. The building needed a new roof, and people's ceilings on the top floor were caving in, which is what led to the rent strike. The strike was a success, and those tenants who participated in it got repairs made to their apartments, as well as, they got rent refunds from the RTC of a few thousand dollars apiece.

Jill said...

Interestingly, when you google "Father Mancini's Corner" you find but one result from a church in Arkansas.

Anonymous said...

My mom resided there in the 90s, the apartment was old fashion, but nice. In those days trying to get rent stablized tents evicted . I can imagine what they are doing now.