There hasn't been any shortage of drama at 50-58 E. Third St. Back in July, reps for the new owners, GRJ, a fund co-founded and co-managed by brothers Graham and Gregory Jones, promised that the remaining tenants would have to endure "heavy construction" in the days and weeks ahead.
At 50 E. Third St., a tipster recently claimed that "illegal" work was taking place in the building. The resident or, perhaps, neighbor, wasn't too specific, just that it was a living hell.
Tenants have noted other worrisome developments in the last week or so, claims such as workers shutting off the water without any notice or knocking a hole in someone's living room wall from next door and claiming that it was an "accident."
On Sept. 24, the DOB approved a whole bunch of work for No. 50:
"Renovation of existing apartments 2A & 2C on 3rd floor, 3B & 3C on 4th floor, 4C on 5th floor, 5A, 5B & 5D on 6th floor. New metal balconies facing rear in conjunction with apts. 2C, 3C, 4C & 5D. New roof decks in conjunction with apts. 5A, 5B & 5D."
There are several complaints on file with the DOB for No. 50 (12 since Aug. 23), including a Partial Stop Work Order that only applies to the balconies.
Yesterday, the DOB approved the exterior renovation of the entire building; ditto for the exteriors at No. 58 and No. 54, the other two buildings that the Jones brothers purchased for a three-building price of $23.5 million. (There is paperwork on file dated yesterday for interior work at No. 54, renovations that will be similar to No. 50. The DOB assigned those plans to an examiner. There is only a permit for exterior work on file for No. 58.)
In April, 17 residents of the buildings received letters that stated, in part: "It has been agreed with the impending new owners that your lease will not be renewed and that you will be expected to vacate at the expiration of your lease." The residents banded together and formed a tenants group; local politicians came out to offer support during a rally on May 7. However, as one former resident put it, the Big Real Estate Machine was too great to overcome.
Per Gregory Jones in the news release announcing the sale this past July: "We see a real opportunity to reposition the buildings. We'll invest significant capital and we look forward to creating the most desirable walk-ups in the East Village."
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Previously on EV Grieve:
Reader report: Three apartment buildings sold on East Third Street
Advocate for East Third Street buildings moving to Washington Heights
More about the lease renewals at 50, 54 and 58 E. Third St.
Tenants at 50, 54 and 58 E. Third St. banding to together in face of building sale
More drama at 50-58 E. Third St.; 'heavy construction' awaits tenants who stay