[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.