The Real Deal New York

James to file discrimination complaint against Stonehenge

Management company is accused of barring rent-regulated tenants from building gym

February 25, 2014 04:15PM

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From left: Letitia James and 160 West 97th Street

From left: Letitia James and 160 West 97th Street

A mixed-income building on the Upper West Side is under fire for allegedly barring rent-regulated tenants from using the property’s gym.

Public Advocate Letitia James said Tuesday that her office will file a complaint with the New York State Human Rights Divison against Stonehenge Village’s management company, which only permits its market-rate tenants to use the building’s gym.

James called the policy “blatantly illegal” before an assembled crowd on Tuesday, and said that it set a “dangerous precedent.”

Rent-regulated tenants at 160 West 97th Street make up 60 percent of Stonehenge Village’s occupants, and gathered with James and other elected officials Tuesday to slam the policy, which they dubbed a form of segregation.

Councilman Mark Levine noted that many of the building’s rent-regulated tenants were part of the city’s Mitchell-Lama affordable housing plan and “came [to the building] at a time when the real estate community had forsaken this area.” He pointed to a sign on the door until recently, which indicated that “approved” residents were not allowed to hold the door for others, and said the message “recalls memories of the pre-Civil Rights era.”

Stonehenge declined to comment to DNAinfo. [DNAinfo]Julie Strickland

  • not recommending timeshares

    maybe this building needs to compete with better amenities in other buildings for a limited number of market tenants who are needed for the building to afford the majority of rent regulated units?

    maybe it is not about race and not about economic class but mere survival that the building management is trying to keep and attract market renters,

    At Disney World, older entrenched time-sharers who pay less don’t grouse that Disney is putting out fancier new time-shares to keep the place in the black – according to the forums, they appreciate that the Disney organization is uncommonly talented at making timeshares profitable and popular which is not the case for most timeshares around the world.

    If these rent regulated tenants really were thinking as members of the team of the building, they wouldn’t be so mean about how management is trying to keep the place afloat. They’d be grateful that someone was actually thinking of what to do to keep things going.

    BUT rent regulated tenants in New York do not feel that they have any vested interest in the success of any property owner not even the city itself hence the type of repairs and ongoing tenant conduct that does not show a homeowner’s concern in maintaining the condition of the building so who is it who really “loves” their property and worries about it or is it just that the squeakiest wheels are all about themselves?

    It’s none of anyone else’s business if a neighbor who is paying more and knows it is offered amenities to keep them in the building when that neighbor subsidizes the regulated units as long as the regulated units don’t LOSE services. I hope the courts cut through the rhetoric that is going to be lobbed at this seeming invitation for cries for class warfare. It doesn’t hamper someone’s education or opportunities if they are denied a pool or a tv lounge or whatever is being proposed to lure someone into the soap opera world of that building. The whole point of offering subsidized housing was to be kind to those in distress – it is not an invitation to be cruel and attack and abuse and mischaracterize those responsible for that kindness.

  • My friends call me ‘cock

    Tish James is a sham

  • Are you for real?

    Simple question: Are all rent stabilized tenants in the building barred from using the gym? It’s a yes or no question. If the answer is no, which I am sure it is, then this is obviously more complex and not what it’s being made out to be. Who believes this stuff? Do you really think a seasoned real estate company like that would do something so blatantly illegal and get away with it? Of course not. Nonsense.

  • Jonny

    Completely ridiculous notion that they deserve the gym. The $10 seats at Yankee Stadium doesn’t warrant access to the whole stadium, especially the clubs and lounges which are reserved. That’s the way it goes. Eat it.

  • sick of all the freeloaders!

    These people get enough as it is and they should NOT have access to the gym. If I’m paying $5000 to rent an apartment and they are paying $500 they shouldn’t even be able to afford it anyways.

  • T R

    I believe you get what you pay for! That building & lobby is gorgeous and I wish I could afford to live there but I can’t and I wont cry about it. If I were a rent stabilized renter I would just be happy to be there & pay way less than the market rate and keep very quiet. Imagine if a garage was attached to the building? would they cry that they can’t park there especially when the garage costs more than their rent! Also, If rent stabilizers want fairness they should stop passing their apartments to family members and give outsiders a shot at their unit. They pass these on for generations and still want more, ridiculous! They want champagne for the price of beer

  • Jelly Fish

    Building Amenities

    24/7 attended lobbies
    High-speed passenger elevators
    On-site laundry and valet service
    Pet friendly
    Private playground
    On-site parking garage
    Verizon FiOS
    Fitness Center

    So by the comments I see the tenants should also not use any of the above except for the elevators above the 5th floor?
    How about they use the service entrance also?
    Besides rent stabilized apartments are going up 3% per 1 year and 6% per 2 years while the rental increase for Manhattan was 5% last year.

    And who is under the perception that a rent stabilized apartment can be passed along the relatives? That is rent controlled only.

  • LOLZ

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/20/nyregion/tales-of-sorrow-and-threats-of-eviction-in-the-bronx.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0

    lol, rent regulated tenants are to be deemed their own race class – no, not like in the Starter Edition of World of Warcraft but as a civil rights victim group!

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