Stellar Management’s Larry Gluck is being hit with a $5 billion lawsuit by a disabled, rent-stabilized tenant, who alleges that the landlord is deliberately letting his Upper West Side apartment building fall into a ghastly state.
Harold Hirsch, who suffers from paralysis, says in the suit that the 367-unit building at 666 West End Avenue where he has lived for 31 years is now coated in lead paint and asbestos as the result of a gut renovation. Additionally, the suit says water damage has caused toxic mold to build up in his bathroom and kitchen, the New York Post reported.
Hirsch pays $574 a month for his studio apartment in the building, and believes that Gluck is trying to push out rent-stabilized tenants to make room for luxury apartments. Stellar has recently been criticized for segregating building amenities and only allowing market-rate tenants access to a pool and yoga room.
Hirsch is also suing Cammeby International’s Rubin Schron, though a spokesperson for Schron said that he is not an investor in the building and is expected to be dropped from the suit.
“I”m going to be honest,” said Hirsch. “$5 billion is a lowball. I’m expecting the jury to flip this to $20 to 25 billion before we’re done.”
Gluck is no stranger to tenant litigation. In August, tenants at another Stellar Management-owned building accused the landlord of harassment. In September, Gluck sued the architect of his Hamptons home for allegedly botching the construction. [NYP] — Tess Hofmann