After deadly fire, fate of Chinatown building to be determined in housing court

November 01, 2010 10:00AM

The former tenants of 289 Grand Street, the sole structure left standing after a deadly, four-building Chinatown fire in April, are now locked in a court battle with their landlord over the fate of the building and are expected to appear in New York City Housing Court again this week, the Daily News reported. The landlord, Wong’s Grand Street Realty, wants to tear down the building, arguing that repairs would cost more than the property — on which the Department of Buildings issued a vacate order following the fire — is currently worth. Meanwhile, the 11 tenants, mostly Chinese immigrants who’ve been living in city shelters or in temporary housing for the past six months, filed a lawsuit in New York Housing Court in June to force Wong’s to make renovations. Late last month, they showed up at the shuttered site with a court order allowing them to fetch some of their belongings from the building. Their attorneys have accused the landlord of inflating the costs of renovations in an attempt to squeeze out rent-regulated tenants. [NYDN]