The Real Deal New York

Landlord accused of using “Chinese mafia” to evict tenants

The tenants of the Midtown building have now brought an $8M suit against the building's owner

November 15, 2014 02:00PM

23-25 West 35th Street

23-25 West 35th Street

A Midtown landlord is being accused of using the Chinese mafia to force tenants out of their homes.

The tenants of the Midtown building, located at 23-25 West 35th Street, are now suing their new landlord for $8 million, according to the New York Post.

Building resident Obi Lee claims a thug followed her to work and identified himself as being part of “a very large company in Hong Kong.” He then threatened to harm her neighbor, saying “they would send someone to cut off his arm,” according to the Manhattan civil suit.

Lee says the men also threatened to do “the worst type of harm which could be inflicted on a woman.”

The landlord is even trying to evict Porter Brooks, of the TV show “Entertaining People,” over a rent dispute.

Vaduzco Realty, which had owned the two four-story buildings since the 1970s, recently sold the property to a first-time Chinese buyer using an LLC.

“I’m astonished to hear this,” the landlord’s lawyer David Brody said. “It doesn’t have a ring of truth to it.” [New York Post]Christopher Cameron

  • Bullied and Damaged by Rent Re

    How are they going to do a tear down without hurting that cute Miss Minchin building next door?

    “Paolo Giusti‘s Vaduzco Realty has sold its buildings at 23-25 West 35th Street for $19.2 million in an all-cash deal to a first-time Chinese buyer, Commercial Observer has learned. The property will be turned into a limited-service hotel.

    The two, four-story buildings look like they are in a “state of disrepair,” a source with knowledge of the deal said, but offers a 40,000-square-foot buildable development site to the buyer.

    Vaduzco Realty bought the buildings in the 1970s, according to property records.

    Eastern Consolidated‘s Marcia Rose Yawitz, Steven Zimmerman and David Schechtman represented both sides in the deal. Mr. Schechtman would only confirm that the team brokered the deal.”

  • Bullied and Damaged by Rent Re

    I don’t believe this article because it’s the opposite of the Kaiser Soze nature of what the new owners are being accused of. If the wagons aren’t circling around them to hide them in plain sight but they’re put on blast like this with impunity and no fear of offense or blowback ….

  • Bullied and Damaged by Rent Re

    I think if your intentions are to develop a property, there should be an opportunity created to deal with the tenants in place to see if that is going to happen if you do successfully purchase the space otherwise why take that risk and I am surprised that ANY Mainlander would do this when they are not familiar with NYC laws and lawyers and the success rate of such an endeavor and the news is rife with the pro-tenant situation here in New York. I think this story is highly suspect. If the tenants colluded with a buyer against a landlord reluctant to sell then I would believe it.

    But there is no need for this consistent will they or won’t they question when a new owner debuts. It’s unlikely that anyone would bother to acquire a property in this day and age to merely work the ground floor as a career retailer outside of Sunset Park given the sales prices (uncoerced) and property taxes instead of just renting – Jud Parker didn’t want the deed signed over to him, he just wanted his own piece of Easy Street.

    • Bullied and Damaged by Rent Re

      If the new owner isn’t skittish and just sells to some sudden interested party, they are going to get a lesson in the NYC legal system and attorney billings.

      Boo!

    • Bullied and Damaged by Rent Re

      Also, why wouldn’t they just invest through John Lam who has ads in the Chinese paper and has lots of positive press coverage – even more than Sam Chang? Did they think it looked easy?

      In my experience, the New York press does not cover Chinese criminals. And if these criminals are so far away as to be unarrestable, there is no way these tenants would be so open and calling them out.

      Is it possible that in this case, the new foreign owner is being gaslit and bullied by locals?

      • Bullied and Damaged by Rent Re

        How many foreign developed hotels exist in NYC that do not go through investing with a local hotelier? What is the percentage?

  • john

    this new LL watched to many Jackie Chan films. This is NYC not Hong Dong

  • Callahan

    Thugs

  • christy

    why are u commenting and replying yourself here? r u on the side of the mainland Chinese?

    • Bullied and Damaged by Rent Re

      No I am adding things when I remember them and letting webmasters decide if they want to moderate them out.

      There are no pro Commie government operatives – they only pay fiddy cent in Chinese money. The only operatives for profit will be anti-Chinese government.

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