This Week in Comments

February 26, 2010 11:56AM

Convictions overturned in Bronx illegal partition case
As a landlord I applaud the judge here. Landlords are in a no-win
situation with illegal partitions. If we were to go from apartment to
apartment and make tenants take down these illegal walls we’d be in
harassment hearings. Some of these walls have been up for decades. So a
landlord is supposed to tell a tenant that the apartment they rented as
a three-bedroom 20 years ago is now a two-bedroom? I’ve tried telling
tenants to take down the walls before. I get accused of trying to
“force the tenants out.” Make and enforce a rule and I’ll follow it,
but if you chose demolition then you’ve got to back me up when I start
taking away bedrooms from 65-year-old immigrant grandmas who are
subletting out these rooms so they can afford their medications/rent
(my example is extreme but certainly true in some cases). And then when
the tenant can’t afford her rent without the help of a subletter, who
now has to move out, don’t vilify me for evicting non-paying grandmas.

Manhattan’s hotel market weak into 2010
Demolishing the Hotel Pennsylvania is a shameful thing. The shell could be saved and Vornado could build their useless offices inside. Landmarks do not replicate themselves and the Hotel Pennsylvania, in spite of its decrepit state, is still a McKim, Meade, and White building.

22-year-old building home to 22-year-olds

Yes, they call it the “Bong Building.”

Moinian defaults on W New York-backed loan, says continues to make payments

If you people were actually in the business you’d know that all major players are taking advantage of the market to renegotiate their terms. If you think that Moinian’s name is not going to be on that building when it’s all said and done then you don’t know jack.

Brokerage releases first 5-borough retail report
They missed a major retail shopping center: West 181st and St. Nicholas. It is [like] the Time Square on Broadway. On any given day, the streets are filled with shoppers yet it isn’t included on this report. Too bad.

Lenz, Bracha Group, Barak/Blackburn Group win top Elliman awards
I am interested to know who won, because it helps us recruit the good talent — maybe not Lenz or Bracha, but the rest of the young talent who achieved [awards] at Elliman.

Mortgage application volume drops
Could only mean more cash buyers.

Nine Hamptons rentals hit the auction block
$159,000 for a Hampton Bays rental listing? Oh, these guys are brilliant.