“25th worst” NYC landlord says Public Advocate Tish James didn’t do her research

Owner Mark Tress says tenants haven't lived in 400 West 57th Street in over 6 years

New York /
Nov.November 29, 2015 04:00 PM

The Public Advocate’s office has been criticized for what some have deemed a lackluster fact-checking effort before publishing its annual “worst landlords of NYC” list earlier this week. This probably won’t help.

One of the landlords who appeared on the list — designed to shame landlords into making repairs — says his building is under renovation and he doesn’t have any unhappy tenants … because there aren’t any.

“There’s been no one living there for years,” said Mark Tress, who bought The Windermere for $13 million in 2009, a full year after the last of the 649 violations had been issued by city inspectors. “They compiled a list without doing proper research.”

Public Advocate Letitia James’ office didn’t back down.

“Even if there might not be tenants living there it still could be putting people at risk,” Anna Brower, a spokesperson, told DNAinfo. “The truth is there are a lot of landlords that should be on this list. We can’t go personally examine every single building. That’s what HPD and DOB are for.”

Tress, who is turning the Windermere into a boutique hotel with 175 rooms, declined to comment on why inherited violations hadn’t yet been cleared.

The landmarked building at 400 West 57th Street has a long history of neglect.

A former building manager, Jerome Garland, was imprisoned for threatening to kill tenants if they didn’t vacate. Then-owner Alan B. Weissman was also jailed for mistreating tenants. In 1986, Toa, a Japanese company, bought the Windemere. It never redeveloped the property, and in 2008 a judgement was entered against Toa for willfully failing to maintain the building.

James’ office admitted earlier this week that it erred when — for the second consecutive year — it added landlord David Behin to the list. Behin has been fixing up a Bushwick property he bought through a state program that transfers derelict properties to more reputable landlords.  [DNAinfo] — James Kleimann


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Attorney General Letitia James with 198 Scholes Street, 11 Gunther Place, 506 Dekalb Avenue and 65 Kent Avenue (Illustration by THe Real Deal with Getty, Google Maps)
Yoel Goldman’s All Year Management investigated by NY attorney general
Yoel Goldman’s All Year Management investigated by NY attorney general
From left: Hudson Valley Property's Richard Lanzarone, Attorney General Letitia James, Belkind Burden Goldman’s Matthew Brett, and Kingston Mayor Steve Noble (Kingston, Belkind Burden Goldman, Getty, LinkedIn)
Kingston rent stabilization blocked, possibly for good
Kingston rent stabilization blocked, possibly for good
Letitia James and Donald Trump (Getty)
Trump Organization sues AG in Florida, is slapped with monitor
Trump Organization sues AG in Florida, is slapped with monitor
Attorney General of New York Letitia James and 345 Ovington Avenue in Brooklyn (Getty, Google Maps)
AG suit piles on Brooklyn developer accused of stealing deposits
AG suit piles on Brooklyn developer accused of stealing deposits
New York AG Letitia James (Getty)
NY AG pushes to criminalize deed theft
NY AG pushes to criminalize deed theft
Attorney General Letitia James and Compass' Robert Reffkin (Getty, Compass)
AG slaps Compass on wrist for voucher discrimination
AG slaps Compass on wrist for voucher discrimination
From left: Heatherwood Communities' Douglas Patrick and Attorney General of New York Letitia James along with 568 Union in Williamsburg (Heatherwood Communities, Getty, Twitter/CertilmanBalin)
Luxury developer to cough up $3M for underpaying workers
Luxury developer to cough up $3M for underpaying workers
From left: Letitia James, Donald Trump, Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, Allen Weisselberg, and Donald Trump Jr. (Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal with Getty Images)
NY AG files civil fraud suit against Trump, children and company
NY AG files civil fraud suit against Trump, children and company
arrow_forward_ios

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

Loading...