Judge OKs $42M settlement by LeFrak, Battery Park City tenants

Tenants had accused LeFrak of neglecting heating repairs at Gateway Plaza

TRD New York /
Mar.March 31, 2020 01:15 PM
Richard LeFrak with Gateway Plaza at Battery Park City (Credit: LeFrak by John Lamparski/WireImage; Olnick Organization)

Richard LeFrak with Gateway Plaza at Battery Park City (Credit: LeFrak by John Lamparski/WireImage; Olnick Organization)

A judge has approved the roughly $42 million settlement between the LeFrak Organization and tenants at a Battery Park City complex.

New York State Supreme Court Judge Melissa A. Crane signed off on the settlement Sunday, determining that it was “fair, reasonable and adequate,” according to court documents.

The class-action suit, filed in 2014, accused a LeFrak-controlled entity of neglecting heating repairs at Gateway Plaza, a six-building, 1,712-apartment residential complex in Lower Manhattan. LeFrak had agreed to a three-part benefits package with the tenants late last year.

Tenants blamed a lack of repairs at Gateway Plaza for outside air flowing freely into their apartments, forcing them to endure frigid temperatures during the winter and scorching heat during the summer. They attempted to mitigate this with duct tape, plastic sheeting, towels and pillows, according to the law firm they hired, Newman Ferrara.

Tenants initially sought $100 million, but the settlement ultimately was $10 million in cash and rent abatements, $13 million in contractual rent increase limitations and $18 million to $20 million for repairs that were largely finished by August 2017, according to court documents.

LeFrak admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement. Representatives for the real estate firm declined to comment, as did Lucas Ferrara, the tenants’ attorney.


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