[Photo by Grant Shaffer]
Tenant groups, community organizations and local elected officials continue to put pressure on landlords behaving badly in the neighborhood.
Yesterday, it was Icon Realty's turn.
Here's part of the news release that the Cooper Square Committee released:
[On Monday], tenants of two Icon Realty-owned East Village buildings, 445 East Ninth Street and 57 Second Avenue, along with local elected officials and community groups, call on Icon Realty to end their alleged campaign of construction-as-harassment against tenants and to meet the tenants’ demands.
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.
“At the end of the day, we don’t know what we’re coming home to. In two years of bad communication, bad accounting, loss of basic services, cycles of neglect and disregard, we are now accustomed to uncertainty where none should exist,” said Ben Coopersmith a member of the 445 E. 9th Street Tenants Association. “We will demand fair play for our tenancies with Icon Realty Management beyond the glad-handing of their representatives, the unfulfilled promises, even the possibility that they will flip us once the paint dries.”
During a rally outside the Icon-owned buildings at 445 E. Ninth St. and Avenue A and later at 57 Second Ave., Icon tenants announced their demands for proper lead mitigation, safe construction practices, unobstructed building entryways ... and for Icon Realty to respect rent-regulated tenants’ rights.
City Council Member Rosie Mendez and State Sen. Brad Hoylman were among the speakers.
[Photo by Derek Berg]
Icon Realty bought the building at 445 E. Ninth St. for $10.1 million in April 2014, according to public records. The storefronts are now all vacant. The Upper Rust was the last to leave after a reported rent increase. Icon took over ownership of 57 Second Ave. in early 2015. Both longtime businesses have closed here too.
The Lo-Down has coverage here, including a statement from Icon spokesperson Chris Coffey.