City report shows lead levels 36x health standard at Delshah’s 138 Ludlow Street

Residents report illness during building renovations

Jan.January 25, 2019 03:25 PM

138 Ludlow Street and Michael Shah

Lead levels at Delshah Capital’s 138 Ludlow Street are as high as 36 times the federal government’s acceptable health standard, according to a December report commissioned by the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Lower Manhattan community group the Cooper Square Committee announced the report in a Friday press release, with Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou and City Council Member Margaret Chin quoted criticizing Delshah for what they deemed unsafe construction practices.

Lead contamination at 138 Ludlow Street

DelShah has since slowed its renovation work, according to the release.

Firm principal Michael Shah did not immediately return a request for comment from The Real Deal. Neither did DOH.

High levels of lead are known to cause illness and developmental problems in children and adolescents, and Delshah’s building is one of a number of Lower East Side properties that have recently been reported to carry unsafe levels. Meanwhile, NYCHA, which was found to have misled the public about unsafe levels of lead at public housing buildings across the city, faces steep penalties and possible federal monitorship.

Local Law 1 of 2004 sets the protocol for how landlords are supposed to address potential lead contamination. Cooper Square’s Jodie Leidecker told TRD DelShah didn’t appear to be following all the rules. “There should be daily cleaning so lead is not accumulating in public areas. There are really strict requirements.”

One DelShah tenant, Mayra Hernandez, claimed that the lead dust has caused her daughter multiple illnesses. “It’s not just my family. It’s all the people in the building,” she said, according to Cooper Square’s release.

The DOH report found unsafe lead levels in several parts of the 138 Ludlow property, with highest levels, about 36 times health standards (EPA’s lead concentration limit for floors is 40 μg/ft2), found on stairs between the 4th and 5th floors.

Shah bought the 27-unit building, which has both rent-stabilized and market-rate apartments, for $19 million in January 2018. “Despite its good bones and excellent location, this building hasn’t yet been positioned to realize its full potential for value,” Shah told Commercial Observer in a statement at the time. “We are sitting on a gem, and with our proven ability to transform properties and streetscapes we are excited to deliver the next ‘newest and nicest’ building to the Lower East Side.”

As of Friday, the Department of Buildings had not issued any stop-work orders on the property.

Related Articles

(Illustration by Dave Murray)

The squeeze on resi brokerages is forcing consolidation, cooperation

From left: 55 East 74th Street, 9 East 82nd Street, 1 Central Park South, 78 Irving Place with Adam Neumann and 111 West 57th Street (Credit: StreetEasy, Wikipedia, Getty Images)

Adam Neumann’s triplex, Russians’ Plaza pad were priciest homes listed last week

3 East 69th Street and 252 East 57th Street 

With asking prices in freefall, luxury market sees strong week

Keller Williams CEO Gary Keller

Keller Williams will cut off agents who leave

Wall Street bonus season is the stuff home sellers’ dreams, as they picture eager buyers armed with hefty bonus checks and willing to pay top price. But in a buyer’s market that vision may be more like a mirage (Credit: iStock)

Here’s what Wall Street bonus season means for real estate this year

Adam Neumann and 78 Irving Place (Credit: Getty Images and StreetEasy)

Adam Neumann is asking $37M for Gramercy Park triplex

(Credit: iStock)

Residential rents continue upward march in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens

Redfin's Glenn Kelman (Credit: iStock)

“It’s on like Donkey Kong”: Redfin scrambling to keep up with iBuyer demand