The Real Deal New York

Tenants who beat massive rent spikes now fear owner neglect

Critics say Yoel Goldman could let affordable housing properties fall into disrepair

October 05, 2015 03:35PM

Yoel Goldman buildings

From left: 483 St. Marks Avenue, 592 Franklin Avenue and 634 Classon Avenue in Crown Heights

Crown Heights residents beat massive rent increases but now believe they face a different danger: neglect by an owner who might have paid too much for the rent-regulated properties.

All Year Management, headed by developer Yoel Goldman, withdrew rent hikes in 14 Crown Heights apartment buildings, but now tenants are concerned that the buildings — along Classon, St. Marks and Franklin avenues and Pacific Street — are overleveraged and likely to fall into disrepair, Crain’s reported.

Goldman, despite no experience managing rent-regulated properties, paid $16 million in April 2014 for the portfolio and quickly moved to jack up the rents.

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development ruled that the increases were premature in the 110 units, since the buildings are only halfway through their 30-year affordable housing agreements.

The tenants’ concerns are indicative of a larger decades-long trend of developers scooping up properties in up-and-coming neighborhoods in the middle of housing agreements. Critics, like the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, argue that owners who overpay for such properties try to beef up rents or end up letting the buildings deteriorate.

All Year Management dismissed such claims and said the company is working with the city. The firm has several other projects underway in the rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhoods. It proposed a 112-key hotel in Bushwick in May, and is among several developers betting on Myrtle Avenue with plans for a 45-unit residential building at 134 Vanderbilt Ave in Fort Greene. [Crain’s] — Kathryn Brenzel