Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tenants claim: Kushner and Westminster want to destroy this building's beautiful garden



We've been keeping an eye on the renovations at 170-174 E. Second St., two walk-ups that Jared Kushner picked up earlier this year for his East Village collection.

There has been a lot of drama here — gut renovations, tenants taking buyouts, tenants not taking buyouts. We'll address some of this in another post.

A more pressing matter at the moment: The impending destruction of the garden behind No. 174.

"It was built by tenants, is maintained by tenants, and we love it very much," one tenant told us.

Tenants say that Westminster Management, a division of Kushner Companies, is expected to gut the garden this week. Remaining tenants say that they have taken legal action, but Westminster might be moving too fast for the group to stop them.









Said a resident:

"To destroy the garden would be of no benefit to Westminster, and to the tenants it would be a tragedy. Our garden is not just a decorative tableau, but a part of our daily lives: during the day, it is a place to do our professional work, and to make use of the carefully constructed space dedicated to meditation. In the evenings, it has long been a place for neighbors to meet one another. We reject the notion that a community garden is not a valuable resource. In fact, we believe that it is this use of our garden — as a place to foster community — which is the reason why it has been targeted."



Previously on EV Grieve:
Inside a classic East Village tenement before the whole building is renovated

Jared Kushner not done buying every walk-up in the East Village

Two East 2nd St. buildings sell for $17.5 million; will new owner still honor Allen Ginsburg?

25 comments:

Crazy Eddie said...

Destroy it, change to a BBQ pit, add WI-FI, charging stations, DJ perch, bar and tables for “corporate” events. Sorry, I have missed any new EV demo clichés? Woo.

Anonymous said...

Why destroy this beautiful garden? It doesn't make any sense. The tenants here clearly take pride in their building and take great care of their communal space.

Dave - Everywhere said...

Good. Destroy the garden! Property rights trump all of your petty quality of life concerns. Or maybe Dark Lord Kushner could raise your rent a few measly percentage points in return for the privilege of having a few square feet of "open space". Let's see... something creative like one percent increase per square foot of space "wasted" on a totally non-functional garden. That way he can recoup some of the profit he'll lose by not turning this into some kind of corporate "bro pit".

See, it's easy to be creative!!

nygrump said...

where does kushner live?

Gojira said...

Dear God, why? How deeply is this man-monster's soul buried? How much money does he really need to be happy?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it probably IS being destroyed to remove a communal meeting spot...

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a Adam purple garden bricks not plants shame on you

Anonymous said...

The previous poster makes a good point. How better to break the spirit of those who remain than to destroy the garden and community meeting space they have built for themselves?

Anonymous said...

Most likely, the space will be turned into fenced, private courtyards for renovated units on the ground floor. Westminster did the same thing in my building on East 13th. And, because they expect a premium rent for such an amenity, two of the four such "luxury apartments" are now sitting empty, with no takers at four grand a month. Serious rat infestation in the private courtyards included, even...

Anonymous said...

Ridiculous! Maybe some media attention will help. Hopefully this story is off. Seems strange - why is he buying tenements with character only to destroy it?

Anonymous said...

Least Village

Give me ten good reasons why I should visit the East Village which don't involve eating or drinking and isn't Tompkins Square Park.

Go to it.

Anonymous said...

@11:01am, I can't give you even ONE good reason.

As to Kushner (who is Ivanka Trump's husband), he has the same outlook as his father-in-law, Donald Trump, namely: "What's in it for me? Who the hell do these peasants think they are? Get out of here! This is MINE!"

Would love to see the NY Times give this situation some publicity.

Anonymous said...

This charming garden is something pleasant, and NOT built by a developer ... so of course the developer's going to rip it up, b/c you're not allowed to have anything pleasant in Manhattan unless you pay (minimum) $1,000/sq. ft. for it. Plus monthly fees.


BagelGuy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Annon 10:10 has nailed it. The garden will be split for in half and be included as luxury outdoor space for the ground level apartments. The garden space is part of the property and will be treated as such and unfortunately there is nothing tenants can do to stop this from happening since that space is probably not included in anyones lease agreement. No freebies in the new East Village.

Anonymous said...


These buildings are in addition to the Ben Shaoul portfolio that Kushner bought. Pretty soon Kushner/Trump will own everything. He also bought a chunk from Icon. I wonder how many he's up to now?

Sounds like this building is going through the process of ridding people. Ben Shaoul already did that with his portfolio. Not to many souls left for Kushner to squash there. I'll tell you something else. Shaoul went so far as to pay for many of the build-outs in the commercial spaces in exchange for a percentage in the business. It was a way to rid the rest of the tenants out of the buildings by placing kitchen air shafts in front of residents windows, faulty ventilation systems, etc. etc..

Well now Kushner owns these buildings and he has his own aspirations so don't feel sorry for these commercial tenants capiche.

Elle said...

I would love to hear officially what the actual reason for the proposed demolition is. And then I would love to hear that this entire ordeal is in the NYT.

I am upset.

Emily in the LES said...

Gardens are a community resource, cultivated by hand. The bad behavior that developers can get away with in the name of property rights/ownership is disgusting. I have no respect for their "style" of property ownership or that of others who are trying to cash in on the Lower East Side and East Village (like Serge Hoyda with Children's Magical Garden.) Not only do they create a culture of more selfish destroyers and crush small business dreams, they are praised by the banal likes of corporate middle America who are more than happy to live in a land of strip malls and zombie consumers.

Jill said...

Westminster installed a picnic bench with umbrella in our courtyard, just steps from the rat filled garbage cans, turning a disgusting rodent farm into a disgusting rodent farm for picnicking. (Not sure if this link to the photo will work). What they do, and why they do it, makes no logical sense to us 99 percenters.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7qG-nyIJHIw/UtnXKx8qiHI/AAAAAAAAF9U/SqI4D3R7b4I/s640/blogger-image-309633811.jpg

Anonymous said...

Fucking vampires.

Gojira said...

That's an insult to vampires. At least they have a sense of history.

Anonymous said...

@Jill

Wow that's looks so depressing.

Gojira said...

Wait, what's with the oddly-painted and totally-too-small-for-the-windows shutters? Is that supposed to be quirky or something? Doesn't work.

Anonymous said...

Gojira, the nonworking shutters were added last Fall. After several months of cement work to shore up the brickwork on the walls of the courtyard, using a rope-pulley hoist (no permits whatsoever), then they added the shutters and picnic table at the end.

The whole point, of course, is to justify the huge rents. You can't charge someone $4,000 a month to live in a building that looks neglected for decades (which is the reality). So we've been seeing a lot of cosmetic "improvements" along with rising rents.

Cheryl Alley said...

I li e in westminster properties in Akron Ohio. And fortunately for us space isn't a problem. We have two pools tennis courts and the Cuyahoga river and part of Sand run park are the surroundings. I don't know what is to be gained by anyone if the garden is to be torn down. I hope the tenants win. They have to live there not Kushner.