The Real Deal New York

Plan for Shaoul protest called off in favor of meeting

April 03, 2013 06:00PM

UPDATED, 6:38 p.m., April 4: An anarchist activist who pledged to camp out in front of the offices of Ben Shaoul’s Magnum Real Estate Group this weekend has called off the protest, EV Grieve reported. Instead, the East Village’s John Penley has decided to hold a meeting.

Originally, Penley planned the weekend sit-in to call attention to the allegedly bad conditions of Taylor Mead, an elderly tenant in a Shaoul-owned property.

Since then, friends and family of the 88-year-old said that a buyout and relocation deal was being discussed, EV Grieve noted.

In light of these events, Penley called off the protest.

According to an attorney for Shaoul, the landlord and Mead reached an agreement “long before” Penley planned his demonstration.

“Neither Taylor Mead nor myself had anything to do with [the] planning of a demonstration on my client’s behalf,” said Philip Cody Melville, an attorney for Mead, in a statement provided by Shaoul’s attorney. “In fact, we entered into a very favorable agreement for both parties last week.”

The EV Grieve article does not include comment from Shaoul.

“But since this is all over the place and people are [going to] show up, we will have a meeting about the situation especially about the others affected by Shaoul and his sledgehammer,” Penley posted on the protest-cum-meeting’s Facebook event page.

As previously reported, Mead, an actor, poet and writer, lives in a Ludlow Street building currently being gut renovated by Shaoul. He reportedly has peeling plaster, a roach problem and does not have a functional kitchen sink. [EV Grieve] —Zachary Kussin