Durst Organization charged with Fair Housing Act violations

Developer’s Helena tower inadequately accessible to disabled tenants, US attorney claims

TRD New York /
Apr.April 17, 2014 11:45 AM

Federal prosecutors slapped the Durst Organization with a lawsuit Wednesday, charging that the developer’s Helena tower is in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

The luxury tower at 601 West 57th Street and Eleventh Avenue lacks sufficient space to accommodate wheelchairs, the suit charges, making it inaccessible to tenants with disabilities. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara leveled the suit against the developer of the 38-story complex, saying the property is the latest in a series of property projects that flout FHA guidelines.

“This is now the eighth lawsuit we have filed in recent years to address the failure of real estate developers in New York City to comply with the law,” Bharara told the New York Daily News. “Developers and architects who show an unwillingness to design and construct housing that complies with the law can no longer seek to evade the consequences of their actions.”

The suit, which seeks a court order halting work at current Durst projects until the problems at the Helena are corrected, also takes issue with thresholds that are allegedly too high, kitchens and bathrooms with too little space for wheelchair maneuvering and mailboxes that are not properly accessible to tenants with disabilities. Durst, who was previously in talks to try to reach a settlement with the U.S. Attorney’s office, could be forced to shell out millions to correct the issues, according to the Daily News.

The suit comes on the heels of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s attempt to slap the Related Companies with a similar lawsuit, charging the developer with FHA issues at 215 East 96th Street and 325 North End Avenue. [NYDN]Julie Strickland

 

Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
From left: Attorney Robert Abrams, Robert Durst and Durst spokesperson Jordan Barowitz (Credit: Abrams via Abrams Fensterman; Durst by Robyn Beck-Pool/Getty Images; Barowits via Durst Organization)

Durst Org accused of defamation by lawyer who sued Robert Durst

Durst Org accused of defamation by lawyer who sued Robert Durst
Robert Durst appears in court for during opening statements in his murder trial on March 4, 2020 in Los Angeles (Photo by Etienne Laurent -Pool/Getty Images)

Robert Durst murder trial could be suspended as LA courts shutter over coronavirus

Robert Durst murder trial could be suspended as LA courts shutter over coronavirus
From left: 1155 Sixth Avenue; One World Trade, Douglas Durst and 733 Third Avenue (Credit: Tdorante10 via Wikipedia Commons, Durst Organization, Getty Images)

Netflix inks short-term lease at Durst’s 1155 Sixth Ave

Netflix inks short-term lease at Durst’s 1155 Sixth Ave
Several major office landlords are enhancing cleanup efforts as COVID-19 is on the rise (Credit: iStock)

Landlords aim to keep offices squeaky clean as coronavirus spreads

Landlords aim to keep offices squeaky clean as coronavirus spreads
Robert Durst’s brother and Durst Org chairman to testify at murder trial

Robert Durst’s brother and Durst Org chairman to testify at murder trial

Robert Durst’s brother and Durst Org chairman to testify at murder trial
Clockwise from left: Celonis co-founders Bastian Nominacher, Alexander Rinke, and Martin Klenk with 1 World Trade Center (Credit: Celonis)

German tech firm snags full floor at 1 WTC

German tech firm snags full floor at 1 WTC
From left: Jim Whelan, David Schechtman, Tom Elghanayan, Helena Durst, Bill Rudin, and Adam Leitman Bailey

Real estate bigwigs sound off on politics at REBNY gala

Real estate bigwigs sound off on politics at REBNY gala
34-08 30th Street (Credit: Google Maps)

Lawsuit accuses Astoria landlord, super of turning away blacks

Lawsuit accuses Astoria landlord, super of turning away blacks
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...