Judge halts UWS condo conversion pending fraud probe

AG investigating Newcastle Realty for allegedly failing to offer tenants the right to buy their units

TRD New York /
Jan.January 13, 2015 09:30 AM

The developer of a condo conversion on the Upper West Side has been forced to pause construction after allegedly forcing the rent-regulated tenants out of the building without offering them the option to buy their units.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will continue an investigation into Newcastle Realty Services, according to DNAinfo. The conversion in question is a 44-unit rental building at 101 West 78th Street. Newcastle bought the building for $85 million in 2012.

While the company, lead by Margaret Streicker Porres, initially said it wouldn’t do any major construction at the building, the developer later filed plans to renovate and combine apartments. The firm also allegedly pushed tenants to accept buyout offers before they could review the conversion plan and didn’t offer them the chance to buy their apartments, which is illegal.

“In attempting to clear the building of tenants to make a conversion easier and more lucrative, these developers violated the law and stripped tenants of their rights,” Schneiderman said in a statement. [vision_pullquote style=”1″ align=””] “These developers violated the law and stripped tenants of their rights.”- AG Schneiderman [/vision_pullquote]

Only 10 tenants remain in the building, according to the website.

Until the investigation is finished, Newcastle must halt construction, as well as condo sales and any potential removal of tenants. [DNAinfo]Claire Moses

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