Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Protest at 515 E. Fifth St. this morning, site of Ben Shaoul's illegal addition

In November 2008, the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) ruled that one-story additions to 515 E. Fifth St. and 514-516 E. Sixth St. are illegal and should be removed. As the Post reported at the time, "the BSA's ruling returns the entire matter to the Buildings Department, which could require removal of the added occupied floor on East 5th Street and the one now under construction on East 6th Street." (The Villager reported on the story here.)


Ben "Sledgehammer" Shaoul's Magnum Management is behind the enlargements, as Curbed pointed out.

In any event, we've sort of forgotten about all this... Of course, the tenants of 515, who have led this campaign, haven't. They have organized a protest this morning at 10. Via their news release:

Tenants of 515 East 5th Street in Manhattan, the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center, Councilmember Rosie Mendez, Good Old Lower East Side and Community Board Three will call on the Department of Buildings (DOB) to finally force developer Ben Shaoul to come into compliance with the law and evacuate and dismantle a roof top addition tomorrow — an addition that was deemed illegal by the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA). In addition, there are 13 major code violations that put tenants in danger, including fire safety issues (there was an electrical fire at the building in March), that continue to be unresolved. The DOB has thus far not responded to the BSA’s decision and tenants feel that they are being forced out by the developer for higher paying renters.

Meanwhile, we looked at recent rentals in the new floor at Streeteasy. Someone rented the one-bedroom apartment at 6C in July for $2,700, according to Streeteasy.

Here are some photos of the apartment that comes with a private (and per the BSA, illegal) roofdeck.





Wonder if anyone told the new residents about all this before they moved in...

P.S.
Here's what is going on at 514-516 E. Sixth St.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Important notice about "partying" in Shaoul buildings on East Fifth Street and East Sixth Street

10 comments:

evflip said...

Poor Ben Shaoul! Why can't people be nicer to him? He told my neighbor that he was TRYING to preserve the neighborhood! He then went on to say that when too many people of a certain ethnic minority moved into HIS neighborhood, he moved! So you KNOW he can sympathize with the plight of the EV! He's just trying to help us have the nicest gated community on the East Coast!

glamma said...

wow way to go 515 east 5th st tenants and BSA! hopefully the voice or some big news source will do an expose on all the illegal things develoeprs have been doing to ruin nyc when the DOB and Bloomberg look the other way!! the extent of which is pandemic!!

chris flash said...

Years ago, Bob Arihood was one of the first to expose what this asshole was doing on 5th Street. He dropped dimes on Shaul, but no one paid any attention....

Joe Jusko said...

This is amazing! I grew up in 511 E. 5th St. The first floor window with the AC unit was our kitchen. I'd love to see what the apt. looks like today.

How was he able to build an entire extra floor without being shut down WAY before it was completed (or even started)? I know what crap condition those buildings are in and I'd imagine the structural integrity of that build has been compromised by the additional floor.

Anonymous said...

This same fellow bought our building on E 4th street this year... converted our wonderful lobby into another apartment, we now have a tiny narrow hallway. He took away roof access from us to create a high priced penthouse. Half my fellow apt neighbors had to move out as he doubled their rent without negotiation, so he could renovate perfectly fine apts.
Yes, he's made straightout statements about him moving because too many Iranian Americans were moving near him.
He said he absolutely believes the American Way is making as much money as you can. Much else seemed to matter. As he disputed my statement that nourishing diverse Community was the American way I was tough to believe in.
There was a recent NYTimes article about a old lively EV neighborhood community coffee house that had it's rent doubled and asked to leave in one month, to make way for a Starbucks... They left out one important fact: That's Ben's building around our corner....
And they recently bought 10 more buildings further down our street doing the same "to improve our neighborhood" We know who he doesn't rent out to.
Naturally all his investments are linked to other corporate stakeholders, a big one in London, etc....
I would wager he's not lived a life to lend him a clue about why Occupy Wall Street is an important action. Our current system rewards the Bens of the world... market rate, get as much as you can... so, it's time to stand up, and stand for what's left of the neighborhood...

Anonymous said...

one thing of many you left out anonymous is he had our super move out of his apt in the building (very sad for him and all) for the first time in the old buildings history .... to renovate and rent out yet another space at "market rate".... yes get every penny you can....
we are now being occupied by mostly nyu students, no longer the working class, but kids who need to learn again and again, about basic rules of NYC living, that parties through the night, and loud sounds after hours... greatly decrease the quality of life for neighbors. It's not good neighbor, it's not community building.
With no live in super, already the garbage problems, rats and roaches making a comeback, lack of cleanliness, overall caring has gone down hill... the rent continues uphill...
and making the EV an Historic District will only make these spoiled landlord kids yet better investments.... doing nothing for affordable housing, out of reach for those of us who work, and who do not work in banks... (actually people who work in our local banks can no longer afford to live here either).
So, perhaps all the people of the EV properties of Ben and others need to unite.... let's get together.... there are community housing centers that already know of these lousy folks... perhaps we can make it less of a slam dunk for the kid, who arrives with his driver in an SUV and doesn't live among us.... we're not talking small landlords who live with us....
Unite. Sounds like we could gather lots of evidence.

Anonymous said...

Magnum Management is also known as Fortune East. Now I ask you; Why does a management company need an alias? These are some dicey, dicey characters! They team up with private equity firms to "invest in buildings under distress". Buildings under distress doesn't mean distressed buildings (in need of a lot of repair), it just means that it contains rent stabilized apartments.

Anonymous said...

A similar thing happened at my building on East 20th Street, The top floor owners in my co-op filed with the DOB to build a skylight and instead added a 250 sq. ft. glass room complete with floor, windows and doors to their unit with a staircase leading up to this rooftop room. We are all waiting for the DOB to come to inspect as we do not have the money to bring a lawsuit against them. Our proprietary lease and C of O do not allow for anything to be built on the roof except a 150sq. ft skylight. Any suggestions?

EV Grieve said...

Would the person who just left a comment here mind sending me an email?

grieve98@gmail.com

I wanted to ask you a question... thanks.

terry said...

There is a crane delivering NEW building materials to the illegal addition on top of 514 and 516 East 6th street right now. Weren't they supposed to tear it down?