Abyssinian Development Harlem building is “like Rikers Island”

October 23, 2013 10:45AM

Residents of A Harlem Building On West 124th Street owned by pastor Calvin Butts’ Abyssinian Development Corporation have likened it to living at the jail complex Rikers Island.

Abyssinian Development, which is an influential nonprofit landlord in the neighborhood, said it had run out of funds to build a replacement apartment complex for residents, who have grown weary of  mold, bugs and no heat at the building, at 2070 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard.

The landlord took over the building in 2005 from slumlord Herbert Wright, the New York Daily News reported, but its finances have now run into the red, according to the newspaper. Still, the nonprofit’s top officials earned an average of $144,377 each per year, the News said.

Abyssinian has also racked up 29 violations since it took over the building, according to Department of Buildings records seen by the News.

“They said they weren’t going to do much [repair work] because we were going to move,” Brenda Brown, a 13-year resident of the building, told the newspaper. “They have no respect for us.”

Abyssinian did not return the newspaper’s requests for comment. [NYDN]Hiten Samtani