Brooklyn landlord added to slumlord list

Flatbush Gardens

Brooklyn real estate developer David Bistricer of Clipper Equity has been added to Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s watch list of slumlords. Bistricer’s Flatbush Gardens, a 30-acre, 59-building complex in East Flatbush has 6,475 open code violations, with 827 of them for serious threats to health or safety. “The landlord is clearly trying to change the nature of the development and make it more appealing to upper-income tenants,” de Blasio told the Daily News. “This may be a landlord who purposely wants to reduce the level of service to encourage… tenants to leave.” During a tour, the Daily News spotted raw sewage collecting in a graffiti-covered basement, broken locks, shattered windows and exposed wiring. Several tenants complained of mice and roach infestations as well ceilings collapsing from water damage.

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Richard Rubenstein, a spokesperson for Bistricer, who led the group of investors that bought the complex in 2005 for $138.5 million, said the owners have addressed and removed over 5,000 violations and that they intend to meet with de Blasio to do what it takes to get off the slumlord list. The conditions at Flatbush Gardens — formerly known as Vanderveer Estates — were one factor federal officials cited when they rejected Clipper Equity’s $1.3 million bid for the 46-building Starrett City complex in 2007. They also cited a 1998 court order banning Bistricer from selling condos in New York because of financial irregularities. [NYDN]