Last month, landlord Steve Croman stood before a New York State Supreme Court judge and pleaded guilty to fraud and larceny charges. With that plea, he agreed to spend a year in a cell at Rikers Island.
It was a spectacular fall from grace for Croman, a landlord who built the largest multifamily portfolio in the East Village, but whose alleged strong-arm tactics on rent-stabilized tenants earned him the title of the “Bernie Madoff of landlords.”
For our cover story this month, “Life after Croman,” we look at efforts to stop tenant harassment in New York City. While lawmakers push for stricter laws to stop landlords’ criminal behavior — a move that may have a major impact on the city’s approximately 1 million rent-stabilized apartments — the industry is divided over the heightened crackdown. Lawyers, investors, landlords and lobbyists told The Real Deal there’s a growing sense the deck is becoming stacked against property owners, and that tough new laws could criminalize honest landlords. On the other side, tenant advocates and Democratic politicians say the current laws provide an easy way for landlords to amass wealth.
Meanwhile, in our story “New York Underwater,” we ask the question: What could the real estate industry lose by failing to take a formal position on climate change?
There are stories on the niche rental sector of co-living, the issue of lender liabilty when borrowers force out rent-stabilized tenants and a look at how the city is emerging as the Holy Grail among self-storage developers.
Finally in our Closing, the managing principal of Metro Loft Management Nathan Berman talks about moving from Western Ukraine — the former USSR — to New York City in the 1970s, buying a 40-foot VanDutch yacht and his decision to vote for Donald Trump.
To read the July issue of TRD, click here or on the “Magazine” tab on the top left of the homepage. Enjoy! — Miriam Hall