Often reviled, Gluck seen in new light by city officials

March 31, 2010 11:27AM

Laurence Gluck, a low- and middle-income housing landlord widely scorned for his handling of the Riverton Houses complex in Harlem, could emerge from his semi-pariah status, according to the New York Times, as city and federal officials scramble to find an owner for the Tivoli Towers residential building in Crown Heights. Gluck, who had once angled for ownership of the 33-story affordable housing development, only to be thwarted by city officials, is in talks to buy the building for $11.25 million. The deal comes with a couple caveats: he has to complete approximately $15 million worth of needed renovations and pledge to keep the building affordable for the next 30 years. But while Gluck might be an appealing option for officials, Tivoli tenants express trepidation. “There are great concerns about Laurence Gluck taking over this property,” Alice Mitchell, a tenant at Tivoli, said. “It seems he’s a predatory developer.” Dina Levy, a director with the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, described the scenario as somewhat of a Faustian bargain for residents. “They have to make a choice between getting desperately needed repairs and taking their chances living under Larry Gluck,” Levy said, “or fighting the deal and risking that the building sits in limbo, with no repairs getting done.”