Showing posts with label Cromanated. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cromanated. Show all posts

Saturday, November 26, 2022

The last days of Raul’s Barber Shop

Photos by Stacie Joy 

After 60-plus years on Avenue B, Raul's Barber Shop has closed its doors

First, a quick bit of positive news: Raul's already secured a new location nearby and will be up and running very soon. As for 11 Avenue B between Houston and Second Street ... Steve Croman took over as landlord in 2020, and that's all you need to know. 

Raul Velez Sr. has been at the head of his eponymous barber shop for 61 years...he and his son Junior still run the business. 

EVG contributor Stacie Joy stopped by for a last look at the space, which includes murals created by Antonio "Chico" Garcia...
We will have more about Raul's new outpost in the days ahead... when it's going as Jay Joe's Classic Cuts at 256 E. Third St. between Avenue B and Avenue C...

Monday, December 17, 2018

1 more post about this corner of Avenue B and 3rd Street

[Photo by EV Heave]

The for-rent sign has arrived at 38 Avenue B at Third Street, site of the recently Cromanated China Wok.

The asking rent is $6,495.

Meanwhile, in the space next door that last housed Dojo Noodle House, the for-rent sign has been removed...

Rumor here is a Spanish empanadas-type place is coming soon...

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Concern for China Wok, which has not been open lately on Avenue B

China Wok, the reliable quick-serve Chinese restaurant on the corner of Third Street and Avenue B, has not been open in recent days, fueling concerns among patrons that they have closed for good.

The storefront has been on the rental market. The current listing notes an asking rent of $6,495 a month. The space can also be combined with the empty storefront next door for a few thousand more.

There is an unconfirmed neighbor report that the Marshal took legal possession of the space on behalf of landlord Steve Croman. (There is another unconfirmed claim that the rent was raised to the asking amount from $2,500.)

H/T Stacie Joy!

And an EVG Instagram post from late in the summer...

View this post on Instagram

3rd and B • #eastvillage #chinesefood

A post shared by EV Grieve (@evgrieve) on

My favorite comment from this Instagram post: "The fan on the side that drips grease into the cardboard on the sidewalk 😍😍"

Monday, September 10, 2018

Reader report: Avenue B Cleaners Cromanated

Several readers shared the news that the Avenue B Cleaners between Fourth Street and Fifth Street abruptly closed last week... one reader believes it shut down on Thursday evening — with a for rent sign via Steve Croman's 9300 Realty showing up on Friday.

There's still clothing inside the dry cleaner and drop-off laundry ... a sign on the door instructs customers to call Kapri Cleaners on East Houston...

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Black Rose has closed on Avenue A; welcome Tompkins Square Park Art Bar (temporarily)

The Black Rose, which billed itself as a neighborhood rock-and-roll bar, has closed at 117 Avenue A between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place.

EVG regular Daniel shared these photos and the tip.

The Marshal took legal possession yesterday of the nearly two-year-old bar on behalf of landlord Steve Croman.

The space was quickly cleaned out...

As we understand it, the Black Rose management told Jerry, the artist who occasionally takes up residence on the corner of Avenue A and Seventh Street, and company to take what they wanted... and so for at least part of the day there was the all-new Tompkins Square Park Art Bar...

...featuring framed posters of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, velvet rope, red banquettes, bar stools, a disco ball and other former Black Rose items along the Seventh Street entrance to Tompkins Square Park...

No. 117 was the longtime home, until August 2013, of the Odessa Cafe & Bar.

Previously on EV Grieve:
The Black Rose, 'a neighborhood rock and roll bar,' opening in the former Odessa Cafe and Bar space (73 comments)

Friday, November 25, 2016

Former East Village Tavern space for rent

As we first reported, East Village Tavern closed after service on Sunday evening.

Management of the corner bar on 10th Street and Avenue C left this message on Facebook last Saturday: "It is with a heavy heart that we regret to announce that do to a disagreement with our landlord, the East Village Tavern will be closing..."

Steve Croman, who was arrested back in May on 20 felony counts, is the building's landlord. Eviction proceedings happened here earlier this week when the Marshal came calling...

A rep for Croman's 9300 Realty told this to The Real Deal:

"We are sad to see a long standing tenant close its doors, but unfortunately the business has been unable to consistently pay its rent in the last 12 months. We have made several attempts to strike a deal to settle the debt however given there has been no effort to make payment on the more than $78,000 that is owed, we were forced to part ways with our tenant."

The bar opened in May 2008.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Former Barbone space for rent on Avenue B

Barbone, the low-key Italian restaurant on Avenue B, closed after 10 years in June — a victim of Cromanization.

Landlord Steve Croman reportedly would not renew Barbone's lease. So owner Alberto Ibrahimi decided to get evicted instead.

Ibrahimi told Bedford and Bowery back in June: "We could not get a new lease. Knowing I wouldn’t get my security deposit back I decided not to pay the rent until eviction."

On Friday, the rent signs arrived at the space between 11th Street and 12th Street. Will be curious to see what the asking rent is for the restaurant, which includes a rear garden.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Report: Steve Croman case pushed back to September

[Photo via a Croman tenant]

Landlord Steve Croman appeared in Manhattan Supreme Court yesterday. Croman, who owns more buildings in the East Village than any other landlord, was hit last month with a 20-count indictment on charges including grand larceny and filing false documents.

As The Lo-Down reported, Supreme Court Justice Jill Konviser adjourned the hearing until Sept. 20. Croman's high-powered defense lawyer, Ben Brafman, said that they were close on a plea deal, according to the Post.

A handful of Croman tenants were on hand to greet their landlord at the courthouse.

Per The Lo-Down:

Tamalyn Miller, a Croman Tenant at 521 East 5th St., said that even though Croman’s case was pushed back, she’s happy. “The court case may go on and on,” she said, but Croman’s reputation is forever tarnished. “When we were going through this in 2009, 2010, nobody would listen to us,” she added.

Meanwhile, across the street yesterday, The Lo-Down reported that another controversial East Village landlord, Raphael Toledano, was in New York City Housing Court for civil and criminal contempt. He reportedly was there after failing to pay a settlement to tenants at 444 E 13th St.

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]

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Report: Steve Croman earned $23 million from his East Village properties in 2014

On Monday, news broke that landlord Steve 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.

Croman, who reportedly owns more property in the East Village than any other landlord, faces up to 25 years in prison.

In a story posted yesterday, The Real Deal dug into public records to figure out Croman's revenue and expenses from his 145 buildings, which was used to estimate his net income.

According to The Real Deal's research, Croman owns 47 buildings in the East Village with 617 units. His gross income just from the East Village properties was estimated at a little more than $23 million. (In total, he took in some $63 million in 2014, per TRD.)

Here's an excerpt from TRD:

At six of his properties — 380-382 East 10th Street, 145 East 26th Street, 44 Avenue B, 20 Prince Street, 199 East 3rd Street and 325 East 5th Street — Croman was charged with changing the rent rolls in an effort to make the property’s income appear higher than it was. In one instance in 2012, Croman reported that all 20 units at 380-382 East 10th Street were market-rate, according to Department of Finance records reviewed by TRD. However, all 20 units were listed as rent-stabilized in the prior year, and 10 were marked as rent-stabilized in 2013. At present, three of the apartments are listed as rent-stabilized.

According to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s lawsuit, Croman allegedly would walk through his office chanting "buyouts buyouts," and staffers received sizable bonuses for every successful buyout.

Monday, May 9, 2016

More on the charges against Steve Croman; buyouts were a 'team sport'

Here are more details about the arrest this morning of landlord Steve Croman via the Attorney General's office...

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that Steven Croman, a major New York City landlord with more than 140 apartment buildings across Manhattan, surrendered on multiple felony charges for his role in an alleged scheme to fraudulently obtain several multi-million dollar refinancing loans between 2012 and 2014.

Croman was also named, along with private investigator Anthony Falconite, in a civil suit filed today by the Attorney General’s office for allegedly engaging in illegal, fraudulent, and deceptive conduct in connection with Croman’s real-estate business. The lawsuit 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.

The lawsuit further alleges that Croman deployed Falconite, a former New York City police officer, to frighten and intimidate rent-regulated tenants into surrendering their apartments.

“My message to unscrupulous landlords is simple: if you put your own profits over your tenants’ legal protections, we will investigate you and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “My office will not tolerate anyone who attempts to line their own pockets by gaming the system. No one is above the law – no matter how rich or powerful.”

The criminal and civil cases are the result of independent, parallel investigations during the past two years.

Details on Criminal Charges

Based on an extensive investigation by the Attorney General’s office, Croman allegedly submitted false mortgage documents to New York Community Bank and Capital One Bank, including rent rolls that falsely reflected market rate rents for units that were actually occupied by rent-stabilized tenants. Croman also allegedly inflated the amount of rent charged for certain commercial spaces in his buildings in an effort to show greater rental income. Croman allegedly falsified these rent rolls in order to inflate the annual rental income of his buildings, upon which his refinancing terms are partially based.

All told, over a three-year period, Croman allegedly received more than $45 million in loans under these false pretenses.

A grand jury indicted Croman on 20 felony counts, including seven counts of grand larceny in the 1st degree, seven counts of falsifying business records in the 1st degree, one count of scheme to defraud in the 1st degree, four counts of offering a false instrument for filing in the 1st degree, and one count of criminal tax fraud in the 4th degree.

Croman’s mortgage broker, Barry Swartz, also faces 15 felony counts, including seven counts of grand larceny in the 1st degree, seven counts of falsifying business records in the 1st degree, and one count of scheme to defraud in the 1st degree.

If convicted of all counts, Croman and Swartz could face as much as 25 years in prison. The charges against Croman and Swartz are allegations and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

The Tenant Protection Unit of New York State Homes and Community Renewal provided the Attorney General’s office with a criminal referral that was pivotal to the process.

Details of Civil Lawsuit

The civil lawsuit, filed in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan and the product of an independent investigation, alleges that Croman used the following illegal tactics to push working-class and low-income tenants out of their homes:

• Harassing tenants into surrendering their apartments—and their rights under the rent-stabilization laws—in exchange for “buyouts,” which are often no more than a few thousand dollars or a few months of free rent.

• Incentivizing his employees and agents to obtain buyouts, at the expense of their other responsibilities. Employees allegedly refer to rent-regulated tenants as “targets” and compete with each other to obtain the most buyouts. In one characteristic exchange, Falconite allegedly wrote to a property manager that obtaining buyouts was a “team sport,” to which the property manager responded, “I know that!! Who’s our next target? We have to start lining them up!!!”

• Pressuring tenants into surrendering their apartments by repeatedly filing baseless lawsuits against them. In internal emails, company employees allegedly acknowledged that such lawsuits would “aggravate” tenants or pressure them to accept buyouts. In some cases, Croman’s employees allegedly created a false record for litigation by refusing to acknowledge receipt of tenants’ rent checks and then suing them for unpaid rent—a deliberate fraud upon the court.

The lawsuit also alleges that Falconite, whom Croman allegedly refers to as his “secret weapon,” used deceptive and frightening tactics to intimidate rent-regulated tenants. The lawsuit alleges that Falconite’s text messages with property managers show that he regularly uses false pretenses to gain access to tenants’ apartments, often posing as a repairman or building manager. For example, in text messages to a property manager, Falconite allegedly agreed to use “false pretenses” and pretended he was with the construction department.

The lawsuit alleges that Falconite routinely threatened tenants and improperly accused them of violating their lease. He also allegedly abused his position as a former NYPD officer to threaten and intimidate tenants.

In addition, the lawsuit alleges that Croman, in his rush to flip vacant rent-regulated apartments into high-rent units, presided over a disturbing pattern of illegal and hazardous construction. The lawsuit alleges numerous examples of illegal construction, including the following:

• On at least 175 occasions, Croman’s companies allegedly performed construction without obtaining permits.
Croman allegedly regularly directed his employees to flout stop-work orders and conceal unlawful construction from Department of Building inspectors.

• Croman allegedly filed false documents with the Department of Buildings on dozens of occasions in an attempt to avoid stricter oversight of his construction projects and elude tenant protection measures.

• Croman and his companies allegedly violated lead-safety laws repeatedly, exposing numerous tenants to lead-contaminated dust. On more than 20 occasions, the Department of Health (DOH) found impermissibly high levels of lead dust in Croman’s buildings, including levels up to 65 times the legal threshold.

• Croman allegedly defied DOH orders to address the lead hazards. On one occasion, after DOH order Croman to stop all work and begin lead-abatement measures, Croman directed his property manager to postpone the lead abatement so that the construction could continue.

Read the full release here. As previously noted, Croman owns more buildings in the East Village than any other landlord.

Monday, June 1, 2015

New Steve Croman warning flyer makes the scene

Last week, an EVG reader noted a lone flyer on East 11th Street at Avenue B 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.

This past weekend another flyer arrived … affixed to a city trash can on Second Avenue and East Fifth Street…

In this flyer, Croman is pictured with his wife Harriet … and the flyer's creator points out that Croman "is now the subject of an investigation into potentially illegal tactics used to force rent-stabilized tenants out of their apartments, the Daily News has learned."

That Daily News piece is from last July.

Photos by Derek Berg

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

Friday, November 14, 2014

$4,495 a month — for this

Snack Dragon, the tiny taco shack on East Third Street near Avenue B, ended its East Village tenure on Halloween night. Cause of death: Cromanation (aka, a big high rent hike courtesy of landlord Steve Croman).

We knew that the asking rent is $4,495 for this small space — roughly 100 square feet. However, that size vs. asking rent didn't really sink in until we saw the space emptied out this past week...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Cromanated: The East Village Snack Dragon Taco Shack is closing

Snack Dragon has officially closed

Monday, November 3, 2014

Snack Dragon has officially closed

Last July, the East Village Snack Dragon Taco Shack announced that it would be closing after a huge rent hike courtesy of landlord Steve Croman.

The sliver of a taco stand and hangout at 199 E. Third St. just west of Avenue B managed to stay open through Halloween night. Snack Dragon is now officially closed.

This past weekend, the contents of the shop were brought outside for sale … and giveaway.

The space remains on the market. The asking rent is $4,495, which is particularly insane given its size.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Cromanated: The East Village Snack Dragon Taco Shack is closing

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, July 17, 2014

Actually, the new rent for the Snack Dragon space is $4,495

[Image via]

Late last week Snack Dragon proprietor Josephine Jansen told us that her tiny taco stand at 199 E. Third St. will have to close for good on July 31. The reason: Landlord Steve Croman wants to triple the rent to $3,900.

Turns out the rent for the next tenant will somehow even be higher. In a follow-up article on Monday, DNAinfo's Lisha Arino noted that the rent on the 9300 Realty website for No. 199 is $4,495.

Small, vented restaurant available for 1 August move in on East 3rd St, steps from Ave B. Good dining corridor - Fonda, Root & Bone, Ethiopia Meskel, Café Cortadito, Poco NYC and others.

The COO of 9300 Realty told DANinfo that Jansen was the one who wouldn't negotiate a new lease and only offered to pay $200 more a month for the "way under market rate" space.

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

Cromanated: The East Village Snack Dragon Taco Shack is closing

Friday, July 11, 2014

Cromanated: The East Village Snack Dragon Taco Shack is closing

[Image via]

Snack Dragon proprietor Josephine Jansen broke the news to us yesterday. Her eclectic sliver of a taco stand and hangout at 199 E. Third St. just west of Avenue B will close for good on July 31.

A familiar reason and a familiar figure are behind the impending closure.

"[Landlord Steve] Croman wants to triple the rent to $3,900 for 100 square feet of public space and a tiny basement," she said. "They will not negotiate the lease."

For now, the Williamsburg Snack Dragon will remain open.

Snack Dragon opened nearly 10 years ago around the corner on Avenue B, in a vacant smoothie stand outside Ben's Deli. Jansen inexplicably ran afoul of the East Village Nightlife Task Force and had to close. She moved into her current space in August 2006.

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

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.