Showing posts with label Croman Realty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Croman Realty. Show all posts

Friday, December 14, 2018

Harassed by Steve Croman? Checks in the mail

New York AG Barbara Underwood announced yesterday that the first checks are in the mail to eligible current or former tenants of buildings owned by Steve Croman who submitted claims to the Croman Tenant Restitution Fund.

The restitution fund is part of the settlement that arose out of an investigation and lawsuit filed by the AG against Croman for — among other things — harassment, coercion and fraud, to force rent-regulated tenants out of their apartments.

Here's more from the AG's press office:

The consent decree requires Croman to pay $8 million into a Tenant Restitution Fund – the largest-ever monetary settlement with an individual landlord. The $8 million will be divided equally among eligible claimants and distributed to tenants in installments over a 38 to 42-month period. This first round of restitution payments follows Croman’s initial $2 million payment to the fund.

To be eligible for restitution, tenants had to have lived in a rent-stabilized or rent-controlled apartment owned by Croman between July 1, 2011 and December 20, 2017, not including tenants who received a buyout of more than $20,000 (not including any amount that purported to cover rent or arrears).

Following last year’s historic consent decree, in August 2018, the claims administrator hired by the Attorney General mailed claim notices and application forms to current and former rent-stabilized and rent-controlled tenants in Croman’s buildings. Nearly 800 households filed applications for restitution funds. Eligible households will begin receiving checks for $2,425 each, as early as next week, in this first installment from the Croman Tenant Restitution Fund.

Cynthia Chaffee, Croman tenant and cofounder of the Stop Croman Coalition, told me this: "As far as I'm concerned, no amount of money can ever make up for the hell Steve Croman put his tenants through."

In addition to this $8 million Tenant Restitution Fund, the settlement required that a new, independent management company run Croman's residential properties for five years. In June, the AG's office selected Michael Besen’s New York City Management to oversee Croman's real-estate empire, which includes 47 buildings with 617 units in the East Village.

Croman was released from the Manhattan Correctional Facility on June 1 after serving eight months of a one-year jail sentence and paid a $5 million tax settlement following separate criminal charges brought by the AG's office for fraudulent refinancing of loans and tax fraud.

Previously on EV Grieve:
AG's office: Steve Croman agrees to pay $8 million to the tenants he harassed

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Joli Beauty Bar leaves 1st Street

The eastern storefront at 44 E. First St. is now on the rental market. (Steve Croman's 9300 Realty lists the space at $5,795 per month.)

Joli Beauty Bar closed earlier this month after nearly three years here between First Avenue and Second Avenue. The owners, who decided to part ways, address the closure in this Instagram post. The brand will live on as a mobile beauty service.

Julius Klein had this space for his studio/gallery for years before he was Cromanated in the spring of 2012.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Being Steve Croman

BloombergBusinessweek files a long read on landlord/developer Steve Croman this week titled "Out With the Poor, In With the Rich: The Landlord’s Guide to Gentrifying NYC."

He is under criminal indictment for mortgage fraud in a probe launched by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

In addition, a civil suit alleges that 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."

Croman's criminal case was adjourned until Nov. 29 ... while the civil case begins on Nov. 1.

Croman's real-estate empire includes 47 buildings with 617 units in the East Village. As previously noted, Croman owns more buildings in the East Village than any other landlord.

The Bloomberg piece contains plenty of horror stories from past and present Croman tenants.

“He would remove the washing machines. He tried to close the front door, make everybody go through the basement. He got rid of the super, then had a part-time super who did nothing.”

Even his new market-rate tenants suffer, such as this NYU student:

Sophia offers me a brief tour of her formerly stabilized apartment, telling me that she and her two roommates pay $5,200 a month. The place has been renovated—wine fridge, exposed brick—but in a cheapo, Ikea way. “We just had someone in here fixing our shower,” she says. “We have a dishwasher that’s been broken since we’ve moved in here. Our dryer is, like, total shit. You have to dry things, like, 84 times.” She pauses. “The joke is: Everything is pretty, but nothing actually works.”

And a few more passages:

Sending one landlord to jail won’t turn New York City into a communitarian paradise, of course, but the attorney general’s case against Croman suggests the state is at least eager for gentrification to proceed legally. The city has maintained rent freezes on one-year leases for stabilized apartments for the past few years. Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for the repeal of decontrol loopholes (though the state is unlikely to accede), and has overhauled the zoning code so that many new residential buildings must set aside units for low-income tenants.

But such measures will do nothing to address the seemingly inexhaustible demand from privileged undergrads and Qatari emirs for well-appointed New York apartments. There are those, too, who argue that rent control isn’t worth fighting for—that it artificially suppresses housing supply and creates opportunities for bad actors such as Croman to exploit.

One lawyer who represented tenants in a lawsuit against Croman speculates that the landlord will spend time in prison: “I’m thinking he’s probably going to be living upstate somewhere. They really want to make an example out of him.”

Read the full piece here.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Steve Croman gift ideas for everyone on your list

An EVG reader shared the following... over at Redbubble, the online marketplace for print on-demand products, seller SansComicSans has created a series of gift items that feature landlord Steve Croman's mugshot.

There are throw pillows (above) ... as well as hoodies...

... iPhone cases...

... and travel mugs...

Find the whole gift gallery here.

Steve Croman, who's always in the discussion for NYC Landlord of the Year, was hit in May with a 20-count indictment on charges including grand larceny and filing false documents.

Croman, whose real-estate empire includes 47 buildings with 617 units in the East Village, is reportedly due back in court next month.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Report: Steve Croman due back in court today

Vanity Fair files a piece on Steve Croman, whose real-estate empire includes 47 buildings with 617 units in the East Village. (As previously noted, Croman owns more buildings in the East Village than any other landlord.)

In May, Croman of 9300 Realty was hit with a 20-count indictment on charges including grand larceny and filing false documents ... as well as a civil suit via the New York state Attorney General's office. He faces up to 25 years in prison. Croman pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges. Per the article: "The civil suit is seeking to strip him of his real-estate business entirely and force him to pay millions of dollars in fines and restitution to tenants."

The Vanity Fair piece notes the "fever dream" pace at which the Cromans — Steve and wife Harriet — live on the Upper East Side and in the Hamptons. "They feted their son with a bar mitzvah under the whale at the Museum of Natural History, at which pop star Ariana Grande sang a tune for the crowd."

Croman, 49, has hired Ben Brafman, "the famed attorney who is also representing the so-called 'pharma bro' Martin Shkreli in his securities-fraud case." They are due in court this morning.

Brafman told Vanity Fair that they are "working diligently in the hope of ‎reaching a global agreement with the Attorney General that will resolve both the civil and criminal cases" against Croman.

H/T Steven

Updated 6 a.m.

Via the EVG inbox...

Tuesday, June 21st, at 9.15 am sharp, please join some of Steve Croman's tenants as they meet and greet their indicted, disgraced landlord in front of 100 Centre Street. Steve will be heading to the Criminal Court on the 13th floor immediately after.

[Sign via the email invite]

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Report: Landlord Steve Croman owes the city over $1 million in unpaid code violations

Controversial landlord Steve Croman, whose 9300 Realty owns multiple residential buildings in the East Village, reportedly ended 2015 with more than $1 million in unpaid building- and construction-code violations on properties he owns.

This is according to research by the Cooper Square Committee, the East Village-based tenants' rights group. As Crain's reported:

The fines that Croman and his firm, 9300 Realty, had accrued showcase the city's inability to collect about $1.6 billion in quality-of-life fines, known as Environmental Control Board (ECB) violations. The city has few means to ensure the fines are paid, giving some landlords and contractors leeway to continue to rack up infractions.

"The city issues quality-of-life violations when people violate construction safety rules, start construction before or after hours, or have dangerous sidewalk conditions—and nobody seems to care," said City Councilman Ben Kallos. "Many landlords and developers treat [the fines] as a cost of doing business."

A spokesperson for 9300 Realty disputed the $1 million figure. Here's more from them:

A Croman spokesman said that the firm invests in buildings prone to violations. "We invest in older properties with the objective of restoring and holding them for the long term," the spokesman said in a statement. "Due to the age of properties in Manhattan, these buildings usually require substantial upgrade and repair work. We take maintenance of our properties very seriously and continually invest to clear building violations and enhance the quality of life for all of our residents."

Among other things, Croman has been accused of using illegal tactics to force out rent-stabilized tenants. Tenants have also said that Croman hired a former NYPD officer to harass and intimidate them.

And in other Croman-related news making headlines... Steve's son Jake Croman, a member of the University of Michigan’s Tau Kappa Epsilon chapter, has been vilified on the Internet for a video in which he is seen berating an Uber driver in Ann Arbor, Mich., last week.

As Gothamist noted:

Uber driver Artur Zawada started filming Croman and his friends after they began harassing him when he apparently canceled a ride they ordered. "Fuck you Artur, you little faggot fuck," Croman yells. "You wanna kick me off? Kick me off, you little piece of shit. You're an Uber driver! Go fucking drive, you little fuck! Minimum wage faggot! Go fuck yourself!"

He added toward the end, "You're working all night! Guess what? I'm gonna sit on my ass and watch TV. Fuck you!"

In a statement to BuzzFeed, Jake Croman said, in part: "What you don’t see in the video is that the driver had made a number of offensive anti-Semitic remarks that provoked my response. I am not proud of my reaction to his discrimination and I regret my choice of words."

The Uber driver denied the accusations.

Someone quickly created "the public warning website about the world famous Michigan/New York City douchebag Jake Croman."

Jake Croman's LinkedIn profile notes that he is an associate for his father's real-estate firm.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Report: Steve Croman facing another lawsuit from East 8th Street residents

Report: East 8th Street residents sue landlord Steve Croman, allege intimidation, harassment

Watch a lot of people speak out against Steve Croman and 9300 Realty

Report: State Attorney General launches Steve Croman investigation

Tenant advocacy group names Icon Realty and Steven Croman among NYC's worst landlords

Image from May 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Warning flyers posted about renting from Steve Croman's 9300 Realty

An EVG reader noted a lone flyer warning potential residents of living in a property owned by Steve Croman, aka 9300 Realty, named one of the top-10 worst landlords in NYC last year by The Village Voice.

The reader spotted this on East 11th Street near Avenue B…

The reader noted another flyer posted nearby. (Anyone spot any other Croman flyers around?)

We're not sure who's responsible for the warning… there is the Croman Tenants' Alliance … as well as the Stop Croman Coalition Blog that serve as resources for Croman-related activities.

Previously on EV Grieve:
East Village represented on this list of the city's worst landlords

Report: Steve Croman facing another lawsuit from East 8th Street residents

Report: East 8th Street residents sue landlord Steve Croman, allege intimidation, harassment

Watch a lot of people speak out against Steve Croman and 9300 Realty

Report: State Attorney General launches Steve Croman investigation

Reader report: Someone dumped motor oil in 2 Steve Croman-owned buildings

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Report: State Attorney General launches Steve Croman investigation

From the Daily News today:

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched a probe into the potentially illegal tactics used by landlord Steven Croman, 47, to force rent-stabilized tenants out of their valuable apartments, a source said.

The AG is investigating potential violations of city and state laws, including numerous infractions related to tenant harassment by Croman, the source said.

The article includes a story from Cordelia and Graham Winton, who live in a building on East Eighth Street that Croman/9300 Realty bought last year.

They declined Croman's buyout offer, and remain living in their $1,250 apartment while neighbors above and below them pay $6,000.

When they returned from a vacation last Saturday, they discovered that someone cranked up the steam heat in their building while they were away.

The heat was so extreme, wine bottles had uncorked, spewing their contents on the floor. A glass cabinet shattered, wood shelves warped and collapsed, the plastic spray arm in the sink melted, an outlet popped out of the wall and the ceiling and walls bubbled.

You can read the article here for the rest of this.

Yesterday, the Daily News reported that Schneiderman slapped a cease-and-desist order on one of Croman's employees, ex-cop Anthony Falconite, who "tenants say has engaged in a campaign of harassment and intimidation to force them out."

Previously on EV Grieve:
Watch a lot of people speak out against Steve Croman and 9300 Realty

Despite plea, landlord doubling rent on East Village family with cancer-stricken 2 year old

[Photo of Steve and Harriet Croman by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for DuJour]

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Gentrification, Steve Croman targets of this East Village tenant parade

Via the EVG inbox…

You are invited to attend a press conference at Tompkins Square Park and join an East Village Parade to resist gentrification in NYC communities. The loss of affordable regulated housing in the East Village and the displacement of tenants have been caused by landlords like Steven and Harriet Croman of 9300 Realty.

This landlord currently owns about 70 buildings in the East Village alone and hundreds throughout the city. He has been exploiting the vacancy decontrol laws for over 20 years using abusive tactics to force tenants out of rent-regulated apartments.

After the press conference the parade will go to Croman’s 9300 Realty buildings in the area to reach out to his tenants. Many of Croman’s tenants have the same problems and need to know how to protect their rights.

Paradise Alley
The parade will stop at Paradise Alley to dramatize the difficulty of being an artist in NYC today. On Avenue A and East 11th St. the building known as Paradise Alley was located before being replaced by the current building in 1987. While this little-known location is famous for the beat artists, musicians and writers from the 1950s and 1960s, there is a lesser-known association with East Village artists during the depression.

In 1938, Paradise Alley was known as a bohemian artists’ colony. The landlord raised rents so high that the residents refused to pay it. The landlord got evictions but when the artists still refused to leave, the landlord got the police to brake down the doors and evicted the artists at gunpoint. This event in 1938 mirrors what artists are experiencing today in NYC.

Rent Freeze
The goal of the Parade action is also to alert the East Village tenant community about the need to support the Rent Freeze. Mayor de Blasio is asking the RGB to impose a rent freeze this year to put a brake on rising rents. NYC tenants have to demand the same with feet on the street.

Come to the East Village Tenant Parade and Paradise Alley remembrance. The parade will move through the East Village starting at noon at the corner of East Seventh Street and Avenue A.

Sponsored by The Stop Croman Coalition and The Good Old Lower East Side

Here is an article about Croman from a May 2000 issue of The Village Voice.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cafe Rakka looks to be a goner on Avenue B

[Photo courtesy of Ray LeMoine]

Ugh. Long-timer Cafe Rakka on Avenue B is for rent ... the familiar sign of Croman Realty's "Call Harvey" can't be missed.

Too bad — Cafe Rakka is always a nice, affordable option here near East Third Street. Anyway, it remains open for now.

Meanwhile, the Cafe Rakka — now called Rakka Cafe — is undergoing renovations on St. Mark's Place.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Report: Extortion claims highlight Croman suit vs. former Warhol muse

There's legal drama involving four neighborhood buildings. The Real Deal has the scoop about Croman Real Estate suing socialite and former Warhol muse "Baby Jane" Holzer.

According to the suit, filed Wednesday in Manhattan Supreme Court, Croman reached a deal with Holzer in December 2012 to buy four rental apartment buildings she owns — 60 Avenue B, 159-161 Stanton Street, 193-195 Stanton Street and 343 East 8th Street — for a total of $40.1 million.

But Holzer is now threatening to rent out 18 empty rent-stabilized apartments in the buildings unless the buyers pay her an additional $2.5 million, Croman claims.

Croman claims Holzer is trying to extort millions of dollars from them.

Read the whole article here.

H/T Curbed

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

East Fifth Street residents discover they are now part of the 9300 Realty family

Speaking of well-known landlords... a resident passes along this information... notices that arrived late last week at 325 E. Fifth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue...

[Click image to enlarge]

The notice posted in the building mentions there's a "new managing agent" for the building... the letter to individual residents in the building states that there is a new owner ... and the "lease and security deposit" have been assigned to "the new owner."

In both cases, the new landlord is 9300 Realty (owned by the notorious Croman Realty). The Village Voice put Steve Croman on their 10 Worst Landlords List a few years back, and the paper outlined his usual tactics: "badgering phone calls, endless lawsuits, and leaning on already hard-pressed tenants."

This article on tenant-landlord issues from the Times a few years ago specially addresses a tenant trying to get a security deposit back from Croman Realty.

In any event, we'll see what transpires here...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tenant-owner dispute on Seventh Street results in fire, dead dog, possible civil lawsuit

The Post has this story today. A couple who live on Seventh Street between Avenue A and First Avenue were out in January celebrating a legal victory against their landlord, Steven Croman, of Croman Realty. When they returned home, someone had broken into their ground-floor apartment and started a fire in their closet. (We wrote about the fire here.)

Their Labradoodle named Foster died eight days later as a result from the fire, the Post reports. (The couple had been asking Croman to to padlock two doors that led to their backyard.)

Police later arrested a 22-year-old "career criminal" for the burglary and arson. Police didn't find any connection between the man arrested and Croman. Meanwhile, the couple are considering filing a civil lawsuit against Croman Realty. They have since moved and have a new dog.

Read the whole story here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updated] Fire on Seventh Street