DOB evacuates illegally partitioned Chinatown building

TRD NEW YORK /
Jul.July 15, 2011 11:08 AM

alternate
text
City Council member Margaret Chin and 35 Market Street
A building superintendent changed residents’ keys and locked them out of their Chinatown building last Wednesday, after the Department of Buildings discovered illegally partitioned apartments, Downtown Express reported (note: correction appended).

Inspectors found violations in eight of the low-income rental building’s 18 apartments, and began taping vacate orders around the building, at 35 Market Street, that day. “If we find conditions that are immediately hazardous and that put [residents’] lives at risk, the safest thing is to vacate the building — for their safety,” said Ryan Fitzgibbon, deputy press secretary for the DOB. “The owner needs to restore the secondary means of egress so we can allow people back in.” One three-bedroom apartment that rents for $1,600 in the building, for example, was split into a fourth bedroom and rented out to a subletter to help the tenants pay their rent.

According to local brokers the practice is common in the densely packed Chinatown neighborhood. Residents of the building watched as walls that marked their bedroom were torn down by the superintendent. While renters will be able to return to the building once the DOB clears the vacate order, subletters that lived in the partitioned rooms have nowhere to go. “The inspections are meant to save lives, but they leave people homeless,” broker Sean Tang told Downtown Express. Local City Council member Margaret Chin acknowledged the problem and said that a solution wouldn’t be easy. “This is a civil and human rights issue,” she said. [Downtown Express]


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
34 Union Avenue in Brooklyn (Credit: Google Maps)

Rabsky Group planning another Williamsburg mixed-use project

(Credit: iStock)

City’s basement apartment crackdown ramps up

DOB Commissioner Melanie La Rocca (inset) (Credit: iStock)

After façade deaths, city considers using drones for building inspections

Joseph Chetrit and 88-20 153rd Street (Credit: Getty Images, Google Maps)

Chetrit plans fifth apartment building at Jamaica hospital site

136-18 Maple Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Flushing real estate boom continues with another mixed-use project

Central Park Tower

Lendlease disputes city’s penalty in 2018 death at Central Park Tower

Golden Shopping Mall at 41-28 Main Street in Flushing (Credit: Google Maps)

Woman killed by panel that fell from Queens strip mall: officials

Cooking gas outages are frustrating many New Yorkers (Credit: iStock)

No gas in your apartment? Don’t hold your breath

arrow_forward_ios
Loading...