Squatters invading upscale Kips Bay townhouse: lawsuit

Battle brewing over who controls building constructed in 1901
February 12, 2014 08:13AM

A tony four-story townhouse at Kips Bay has been overrun by squatters, according to a lawsuit filed by a lawyer for the estate of a late dermatologist.

Lawyer Jo Anne Simon said, prior to Gerald Arthur’s death, she put the home in a trust. Arthur’s live-in partner, David Reyes, filed suit against Simon for allegedly forcing him into signing papers that gave her authority over the trust. Simon filed a request Monday, asking Manhattan Surrogate’s Court to provide her with the power to own and subsequently sell the townhouse at 149 East 29th Street. Homeless people have congregated in the front yard and basement, and set fire to the property, Simon told the court. Reyes’ lawyer denied allegations of squatters, DNAinfo reported.

The building, constructed in 1901 and located between Lexington and Third avenues, also has mice and mold problems, Simon said. She told the court she paid $50,000 for mold removal, but has not been able to enter the house. [DNAinfo]Mark Maurer