Developer Avoids Rent-Stabilized Tenants by Building Luxury Condos on Top of Them

August 11, 2015

Here’s a clever new move for the developer playbook: If you want to keep rent-stabilized tenants from interfering with your plans for ultra-posh condos, just build your pricey pads on top of them. According to the Times, the Department of Buildings (DOB) recently approved the construction of a 10-story luxury condo directly above a 1950s six-story apartment structure at 711 West End Avenue. Because the rent-stabilized tenants in the existing building are protected by law from getting the boot, Kaled Management and developer P2B Ventures dreamt up this sly alternative to buying out tenants, or waiting for unit de-regulation to build anew.

As reported by the Times, the addition will be constructed like a new building with several multi-ton support columns planted around the existing structure to prop up the new 10-story condo. The new condos will essentially sit above the old building, hovering about 80 feet, not touching and totally separate. A “facade of the Art Deco-inspired addition will obscure the gap,” they add.

It comes as no surprise that tenants and locals are very concerned about the noise and safety of involved with constructing such a building. About half of the residents in the existing apartments have banded together to stop the project, contending that the new plan does not take into full account the effects on their homes over the two-plus years of construction required (like scaffolding, noise and vibrations), as well as the implications that come post-construction (such as shadows).

“I’m afraid for my life that any minute, one of these three-ton steel beams could come crashing through my wall,” Stephanie Cooper, a resident of 47 years told the paper.

The developer and management are however steadfast to assure existing tenants that they are in good hands. The 711 West End website is even geared to answer questions to quell any worries they might have over what’s to come. Moreover, with the DOB’s approval of permits for the project, they required additional reviews by its high-rise investigations team and an independent engineer.

711 west end avenue

According to the 711 West End site, all tenants will share an updated lobby and new community spaces including a community garden. Existing tenants will also get new wall-mounted air-conditioners fed by a central system to help reduce energy costs. There will however be a new elevator serving only the condos. The addition will displace several tenants, many of whom have already taken buyouts. Only one has turned down the offer and has taken her potential eviction to court.

[Via NYT]

Images via 711 West End 


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