Tenants, advocates, pols launch campaign against Greenbrook Partners

Group pushes Texas school fund to pull $100M investment from landlord

Brad Lander (Getty, iStock)
Brad Lander (Getty, iStock)

Elected officials, tenants and housing advocates have launched a divestment campaign against Greenbrook Partners after the landlord told residents their leases would not be renewed.

Rather than target the firm directly, the activists aim to persuade the Texas Permanent School Fund to withdraw its $100 million investment from equity firm NW1, which used the money to fund Greenbrook Partners, Bklyner reported.

After acquiring more than 50 multifamily buildings in Brooklyn in recent months, Greenbrook sent out dozens of non-renewal notices to rent-paying tenants, as The Real Deal first reported. The company’s business model is to fix up underperforming properties and raise rents, but the letters sent some tenants into a panic.

“Texas schools should not be funded by kicking Brooklynites out of their homes,” said local City Council member Brad Lander at the campaign kick-off event outside 70 Prospect Park West, one of the properties acquired by Greenbrook. The building is on perhaps the most expensive street in one of Brooklyn’s most expensive neighborhoods.

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A detailed memo on the impact of Greenbrook’s practices has been delivered to the 15 members of the Texas State Board of Education, which controls the School Fund, officials said.

Greenbrook and the Texas Permanent School Fund did not respond to the outlet’s requests for comment, although it previously told TRD that it would reconsider its decision not to renew some leases.

Greenbrook has been on a buying spree in recent years. The privately held company invests in “underperforming, poorly maintained, mismanaged and undercapitalized” properties in New York City’s up-and-coming neighborhoods, according to its website.

[Bklyner] — Akiko Matsuda