Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Icon Realty hires a chief safety officer


[445 E. 9th St.]

On May 9, tenants from 445 E. Ninth St. and 57 Second Ave. joined up with community organizations and local elected officials to speak out against landlord Icon Realty.

In a statement, the Cooper Square Committee called for an end to Icon's "alleged campaign of construction-as-harassment against tenants and to meet the tenants’ demands."

Per the statement:
If Icon refuses to do so, the tenants – represented by the Urban Justice Center and Manhattan Legal Services – will file lawsuits against the landlord.

For years now, Icon Realty has been aggressively displacing rent-regulated tenants to make room for ultra-high rent paying tenants. Like other bad-acting landlords, Icon Realty has exposed tenants to hazardous health and safety threats, brought dozens of lawsuits against tenants, and continue to deny tenants their right to live in these buildings without fear of extreme tactics to remove them.

Icon tenants in gut-renovation hell aren't limited to these two addresses. For example, in March 2015, the tenants association at 128 Second Ave. filed an HP Action for Repairs and Services against Icon Realty in NYC Housing Court.

Yesterday, Icon principals Terrence Lowenberg and Todd Cohen announced that their company has hired a chief safety officer to oversee the construction and renovation work in Icon buildings.

According to a news release, the chief safety officer "will have a daily presence in Icon buildings during any construction/renovation phase to make certain that all applicable protocols are observed."

Here's more from the statement:

“After hearing from several tenant leaders in the last few weeks, Icon has added a new position of Building Safety Manager, to serve as an internal safety coordinator and tenant safety advocate. Icon has hired Felipe Olmeta to serve in that role. He started on Monday, May 16th. Felipe has a breadth of experience in the field of construction and construction protocols. Felipe will report directly to both of us and have vast discretion for tenant safey and as an advocate for tenants. Felipe will focus on 445 east 9th and 57 2nd Avenue at first, before expanding his role to other buildings.”
And:

Icon Realty Management is committed to building safety for its tenants and workers. As Icon works on repairs and renovations in several of its buildings, we have taken tenants concerns seriously and want to ensure that safety is the top priority.

Icon spokesperson Chris Coffey told us that all construction work in the two buildings has ceased for now. "We are looking at the tenants' concerns ... and work has been stopped while we evaluate those questions," he said.

10 comments:

Gojira said...

Gee, I wonder when they'll finally hire a kiddie wrangler for each of theiir buildings to keep the drunken, yawping rabble they prefer renting to under some kind of control or, if necessary, house arrest?

Donnie Moder said...

They need more than one safety officer.

Anonymous said...

I live in one of those ICON buildings and they have NOT ceased construction. They are working on the empty storefront at all hours of the day. Very noisy, disruptive and obviously they're lying.

Anonymous said...

This is just pre-court defense mode, this "Building Safety Manager" a title they created and not a city or state trained or recognized authority in public safety. Don't be fooled Icon tenants.

dwg said...

I agree with the above. Icon's business model is simple- deceit and destruction. Try living next door to one of their projects- 205 Avenue A continues to be a blight on quality of life for nearby neighbors as Icon promotes and allows endless roof top and backyard parties. The last 2 years have been hell with over forty 311 calls. 9th precinct is getting fed up with these guys too. Don't trust anything Icon says.

Anonymous said...

So, last week was Icon's "we care about pets" pose, and this week is Icon's "we want to look like we care about safety" pose. Because, of course, Icon didn't know that safety was an issue until just now...

I've seen first-hand the tactics Icon employs, and my only thought is "wow, after Croman, Icon is running scared".

Anonymous said...

@10:00 AM. One word: lawsuit. The Urban Justice Center seems to be making some headway with that approach.

Anonymous said...

@Gojira, you are soooooo right about them needing a kiddie-wrangler per building. Their tenants' attitude is pretty much summed up by this: "hey, I paid my rent, so I own the neighborhood now. Go screw yourself."

And let's face it, Icon cares nothing for tenant misbehavior; they only care that the kidult rent checks clear the bank.

JQ LLC said...

@10:48

it's all about optics. These realty corporations need to indicted. But they are the backbone and the lifeblood of our economy now.

Anonymous said...

When are they going to put the mailbox back on the corner of 9th and A? Icon vanished it when they tore up the sidewalk in front of the former Pick Me Up and Antique Store. Can the feds get them for tampering with the mail?