Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Life at 438 E. 13th St.

[EVG file photo of 438 E. 13th St. from November 2012]

Back in November 2012, news surfaced about a deal involving 11 walkup apartment buildings in the city, including two in the East Village — 438-440 E. 13th St. and 104 E. Seventh St. Stone Street Properties reportedly bought the properties for $73 million, according to The Real Deal.

We heard from a resident at No. 438 who let us know what life has been like here since the sale. First, the resident says that many longtime tenants were driven out of their units … "and we had to deal with a round of apartment gut renovations last year. But things have really gotten bad in the past two months as they have started another round of gut renovations."

Among the problems: No gas (the resident says that it was turned off on March 20). "We didn't have any heat for extended periods in January and February and a whole list of plumbing/electric/structural issues that have occurred since."

Is there hot water now?

"Yes, we do have hot water at the moment, but you never know from one day to the next. Sometimes we get notices stuck to the door, sometimes not," the resident said. "Depends on what the construction crew is doing. What we do have consistently is construction noise every weekday morning at 8 — with workers ringing all the buzzers to gain access starting at 7:45. This has gone on since the first week of March. Two weeks ago they started at 7 a.m. on a Saturday.

In the resident's opinion, "Stone Street doesn't seem to care at all. They ignore calls and emails on these issues."

"I have lived in the East Village for [20-plus] years and have never dealt with such disregard for tenants," the resident said. "Even the tenants who moved into the renovated 'luxury' units are being screwed."

Previously on EV Grieve:
2 East Village buildings part of $73 million deal


Anonymous said...

People have no clue how hard and soul bashing this is to go through. I feel for you.

Anonymous said...

I live at 104 E. 7th St. and it's the same story: 4 gut renovations this year in a 16 unit-building, with no concessions to long-time tenants for dust, noise and damages. During renovations, contractors broke through walls and ceilings in occupied apartments. A stop work order was issued. Stone Street really doesn't care – they don't return calls, emails or voice messages.

Anonymous said...

Aren't there city laws about not doing such work on weekends, especially that early in the morning? Is there a tenants organization they could check with?

(I realize that in today's freelancer economy there's not as much of a distinction between weekdays and weekends, in reality, but I think that some of those old laws are still on the books, so why not take advantage of them)

Anonymous said...

Too bad this city doesn't have fair housing rules and laws to protect renters from landlord abuse.... wait there are such laws.
Why has nobody in the city government addressed these tenants complaints? Are there just too many incidents like in this building for the city to handle? This is what happens when the any market is allowed to operate without rules or regulations.

Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting side note: Check out Stone Street Properties on Yelp. You will see a 5-star review and stellar comments. Look a little closer and you will find all the negative reviews are labeled "unreliable" and not factored into the rating. The sidebar mentions that Stone Street is a Yelp advertiser. Does that give them the privilege to rig their own rating?

Anonymous said...

I am sorry for all who are living through this particular hell. The "renovation" work is obviously standard operating procedure for this (and other) developers to harass tenants.

I'd be calling the DOB to report violations so that a stop-work order could be issued.

And I'd also be contacting the local TV stations, the Daily News, Post, and NY Times to see if they would give this some coverage.

Anonymous said...

I suffer from a form of PTSD due to gut renovations in my building. When walls and ceiling come crashing into your apartment it takes its toll. As does the constant noise and dirt/dust. Not to mention the lack of heat/hot water. The workers once took it upon themselves to turn off the gas. ConEd did not like that. They locked the gas lines and it took the landlord nearly 5 months to get the pipes inspected and service returned.
I feel for anyone who has to endure this kind of trauma! You may have to live with the mental issues for years to come.
Good luck to all of you!

Anonymous said...

One of the frustrating things about these type of situations is that noone believes how bad it is until it happens to them. It happenned at my building, first we lived through the commercial tenant renovations. They basically took two years from us with construction, gas being turned off, water being turned off etc. Then when they were done, the apartments started being renovated one-by-one. Then that was over they did the hallways. It's not like they use decent contractors either. The guys they use are rude, nasty, sexist, you name it. The same landlord then did the building next to ours (our buildings are bacsically attached). We made it clear to all the potential commercial tenants for the second space how bad the landlord was, how the renovations almost killed us and they basically ignored us and signed a lease and opened up anyway. So you get it from all sides, the landlord, your new neighbors, the commercial tenants etc. What do our elected officials do - jack!

Anonymous said...


Yes, companies that advertise on Yelp have more negative reviews tagged as "unreliable". In fact, that is one of the selling points of being a Yelp advertiser. The salespeople that come to your store/company will admit/threaten as much. It is a scumbag company.

moe said...

My building was almost completely renovated, with the exception of my apartment, between 2004 and 2007, including some major structural work when some of the heavy supporting timbers were determined to be compromised from a bit of rot. Yes it was noisy, dusty, electric outages, sometimes no heat or hot water. But I guess I just have low expectations in this world, I figured that if I am living in a building and paying maybe half of what the market rent would be, well heck I can put up with some hassle. Now the work is done, the building is more structurally sound than it was before, the new people pay 3 times what I do, and my landlord appreciates the fact that I was always cool and tried to make his work easier rather than harder.
The way I see it, it's quite OK!

Anonymous said...

You are in the minority. I am glad that you survived and stayed.
However 2007 is a long time ago compared to the hypergentrification we are dealing with now. These landlords are ruthless and will do anything they can to get everyone out. Some of them want to demoliss the building. Your physical and mental health from the construction takes a huge toll, and there are other types of harassment. Management knocking on your door at all hours, electronic keys, spying, screwing with your rent payments/lease renals. Another thing is that nowdays they usually convert one bedrooms into two or three and two bedrooms into four so the building has twice as many people, garbage, drunken sports/bad music parties. The brokers also market the roofs as roof decks which most of them are not . You have jackasses pissing off the firescapes and pouncing on the roofs. A lounge might go in the commercial space. Backyard douchebag parties and front vomit and pissing. It's no way to live.