The task force has been looking into several complaints of tenant harassment while holding talks with the Noho-based real estate investment firm, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.
The task force consists of the New York Attorney General’s office, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the city Department of Buildings and the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal.
To date, Icon has not been charged nor subpoenaed, sources told The Real Deal, adding "that the parties are in advanced talks regarding a potential settlement."
After learning that they were on the task force's radar, Icon reportedly "has changed its approach." (Still, Icon recently made the list of Stabilizing NYC's "10 worst predatory equity landlords" in NYC.)
In May 2016, the realtors announced that they had hired a chief safety officer to oversee the construction and renovation work in Icon buildings. Earlier that month, during a rally outside two Icon properties on May 9, Cooper Square Committee and several elected officials accused Icon of employing "construction-as-harassment" tactics to displace rent-stabilized tenants.
At the Icon-owned 128 Second Ave., tenants in March 2015 filed a HP Action for Repairs and Services, citing inconsistent heat, lack of fire alarms, a broken fire escape, front door, and stairs, and other dangerous living conditions. Residents have also alleged "harassment from the landlord in order to push out rent-regulated tenants." The next month, the tenants filed a contempt of court motion against Icon for the ongoing building issues.
Icon first made headlines here in 2008 ... when a contentious battle broke out between longtime tenants at 176 E. Third St and Icon, the building's new owner. In September 2008, the Post reported that several rent-stabilized tenants were fighting to keep "their East Village neighborhood affordable by turning down buyout offers of up to $125,000." Those residents also accused Icon of harassment.
In 2011, Icon sold No. 176 as part of a portfolio to Stone Street Properties for $90 million.