Croman of Croman Real Estate and 9300 Realty was arrested last month. In a lawsuit via New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, "Croman directs an illegal operation that wields harassment, coercion, and fraud to force rent-regulated tenants out of their apartments and convert their apartments into highly profitable market-rate units." In total, Croman was hit with 20 felony charges and faces 25 years in prison.
The Croman revelation was just one finding from The Real Deal's investigation of DOB permits dating to 2012 to determine which landlords filed the most permit applications relative to the number of units they own in the East Village.
Other East Village landlords with a high alteration strike rate include Mark Scharfman’s Scharfman Organization, which owns about 4,000 units citywide ... The company filed 19 alteration permits at its 118 East Village units since 2012, a rate of about 16 percent.
Jared Kushner’s Kushner Companies, which has acquired a sizable portfolio in the neighborhood since 2012, also made the top five. It filed 77 alteration permit applications and owns at least 522 units in the neighborhood. Raphael Toledano’s Brookhill Properties, which owns about 400 units in the East Village, was fourth on the list and filed 53 alteration permit requests.
Per previous published reports, Kushner and Toledano have been accused of trying to force out tenants at East Village properties in the past. (Like here ... and here... and here...)
And what might all these filings mean?
Emily Goldstein, an organizer at the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, an affordable housing advocacy group, believes any correlation between a high rate of renovations and harassment allegations may be more than coincidence.
“I think it raises a red flag,” she said. “I think absolutely an unusual rate of alt filings is cause for concern.”
However, reps for the landlords "emphatically rejected such characterizations of renovation work."
Find the the full Real Deal report here.