Greenpoint Photos Du Jour: 239 Banker Street

November 24, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

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There is a spectacular array of garbage gracing this illegal loft conversion property today! I wonder where the night regulation/street cleaning sign came from?

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Greetings From 239 Banker Street— Once Again

NYSscSome of you might recall that I recently received a piece of correspondence from an individual who called this place home. He/she was none too happy about it too.   This is why he/she was moving out. As you can imagine, gentle readers, I had a number of questions for this person. WTFsmallToday I am pleased to announce I not only got some answers— but some visuals to accompany them! One is the charming image at right. But I am getting ahead of myself— without further ado, here we go! NOTE: I have excised some material so as to preserve some semblance of anonymity for the parties involved.

Hi Heather, I stupidly did not take any photos of the piss/shit fiasco- I opened the camera to do it but immediately thought “no- this is fucking vile! I’m leaving” and the SMELL! yikes I’m out of there now, but I came to live there because I was moving back to NYC (had been in SF for a year) and my friend who I was looking for a place with had said “hey, I found this spot in Greenpoint with two rooms open”… I went with it… I have some more photos ill send over as well. sorry for so many emails but I can’t attach via the mail app and have no computer access for a couple days. Also made a clip, hope it helps to convey the space better.

bathroom1 bathroom2

…so these first two are the bathroom tub and what is almost certainly mold growing- along w/ Shitpissgate (Apparently the first floor of this building had to be vacated after Hurricane Sandy due to flooding— this included a back-up of raw sewage. Yummy. — Ed. Note), there was an incident with the bathtub backing up dirty water full of black specks up to the brim (last photo- however it only depicts minimal drain, it was a photo I took to send to the super in a “THIS STILL EXISTS HOURS LATER”! message)

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the third is the wood rising up after Shitpissgate, and the fourth is an example of all the arbitrary holes in the deplorable re-flooring job.

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Now let’s proceed to the “bedroom”, shall we?

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Yeah, the photos do not do much to describe this space. As the video footage makes all too clear: this is because there isn’t really much space to describe!

I know what you’re thinking:

How much does such a closet room cost?

Well, prepare to be amazed. I certainly was.

$925. And the bigger rooms (slightly, but you know as well as I do how sometimes that extra six inches of a room helps) with windows were $925. Again, against my better judgment, shame on me, etc. but I’m glad I found the legal hurdle.

Those of you who are wondering what this hurdle/loophole was— or simply care about such trivial matters as fire code— will undoubtedly find the following passage from the “Loft Law” (Thanks NAG!) quite illuminating:

…Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (i), (iii) and (iv) of subdivision two of this section, but subject to paragraphs (i) and (ii) of subdivision one of this section and paragraph (ii) of subdivision two of this section, the term “interim multiple dwelling” shall include buildings, structures or portions thereof that are located in a city of more than one million persons which were occupied for residential purposes as the residence or home of any three or more families living independently from one another for a period of twelve consecutive months during the period commencing January first, two thousand eight, and ending December thirty-first, two thousand nine, provided that the unit: is not located in a basement or cellar and has at least one entrance that does not require passage through another residential unit to obtain access to the unit, has at least one window opening onto a street or a lawful yard or court as defined in the zoning resolution for such municipality…

Whoops. Now if you don’t mind I have some bunk beds to install in my tool shed… 

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Greetings From 239 Banker Street

May 29, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

A person we’ll “X” writes:

Hello Heather,

I love and applaud your coverage of 239 Banker Street. I have been living in this dump for the past five months and am eagerly awaiting my leave next week. I share your disdain for the illegal occupation of this building, and the complete disregard of the laws and stop work order violations by the management company. Perhaps you’re already aware but I figured I’d share a couple things with you-

Windowless rooms are being rented as bedrooms, which is a fire hazard/illegal.

Secondly, there was recently a backup of plumbing on the first floor, and several apartments were flooded in the bathrooms out to the kitchen area, this water containing REAL HUMAN SHIT AND PISS (Emphasis mine— Ed. Note). Sorry, but it was atrocious. As a result the floor has buckled up and I can say with certainty that since the post-Sandy re-flooring job was done lazily (spaces as large as 3/16″ in certain parts of it), I am positive there is mold growing. I’m feeling extra spiteful of the building today so figured I’d shoot you an email.

Thanks— I honestly do not know what else to say (that I haven’t said many times before)…

Today’s Moment Of Greenpoint Real Estate Insanity: Special 239 Banker Street Edition

May 22, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Wow, WTF 

239banker5222013You can probably imagine, gentle readers, the recent decision regarding a fellow renting out his apartment (condominium, actually) via Airbnb was of great interest to yours truly. Not that I had to search for it, mind you. Yesterday I awakened in yet another morning episode of allergy hell to find reporting on the subject on my Facebook page and inbox. It’s nice to know people care.

And on that note I am going to pass the love forward to my friends at 239 Banker Street. Today I had a thought while walking by this edifice/poster child for Loft Law abuse. It was as follows:

Gee, wouldn’t it be funny if this building— which was converted from industrial/commercial use to housing illegally— under the pretext of being permissible as a hotel— had a listing on AirBnb (now that it has been established that AirBnb is illegal in our fair city)?

Well, grab hold of your Shit Tits fellow Garden Spotters— it does! What’s more, it is was very easy to discern. Before I proceed, I’d like share to take a moment to share Airbnb’s “response” to the recent court decision (once again, from Gawker):

This decision runs contrary to the stated intention and the plain text of New York law, so obviously we are disappointed. But more importantly, this decision makes it even more critical that New York law be clarified to make sure regular New Yorkers can occasionally rent out their own homes. There is universal agreement that occasional hosts like Nigel Warren were not the target of the 2010 law, but that agreement provides little comfort to the handful of people, like Nigel, who find themselves targeted by overzealous enforcement officials. It is time to fix this law and protect hosts who occasionally rent out their own homes. 87 percent of Airbnb hosts in New York list just a home they live in — they are average New Yorkers trying to make ends meet, not illegal hotels that should be subject to the 2010 law.

Well, given what I have learned recently, we have an exceptional lot of New Yorkers in Greenpoint. Sure, they’re trying to make ends “meet”— but are they home owners? No they are not. Meet “Joseph”. One of the 13%.

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This “average” New Yorker is not only a fashion/celebrity photographer, but he has a rather snazzy profile photo and by all appearances resides at 239 Banker Street.

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The “giveaway”? Well for starters the buildings gracing “Joseph’s” (AirBnb certified) “rooftop view”: Pop’s Clothing and House of Vans respectively. Here’s an alternate view from 7 Franklin Street (“Pop’s”) courtesy of Google Maps:

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I have highlighted 239 Banker Street. But wait, there’s more! “Joseph” has done all the homework for me— albeit unintentionally— via a second listing on AirBnb!

BUSTED

Busted!

To recap:

  1. The owners of 239 Banker Street were granted permits to convert this manufacturing/commercial building into a hotel. This is perfectly legal given it is located in an Industrial Business Zone.
  2. Instead, the owners converted it into residences and leased it as such. For $2,100- $2,200 a month.
  3. 239 Banker Street was vacated by the Department of Buildings for conditions hazardous to said residents.
  4. Under new “ownership” 239 Banker is rented out once again as residential lofts. This time for substantially more money.
  5. I raise hell.
  6. I receive an email from my City Councilman regarding the matter. I blog it.
  7. A Loft Law application, however inapplicable it may be presently, is filed.
  8. And now we have a legally-sanctioned hotel converted illegally into residences which, in turn, one resident is illegally employing his apartment as a hotel via AirBnb. Ostensibly to “make ends meet”.

Wouldn’t it have simply been better/easier if this property was a hotel in the first place?

Priceless

(Priceless)

New York Shitty Feral Furniture Watch: 239 Banker Street

May 4, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

detritus

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Taken May 4, 2013.

New York Shitty Street Seating Du Jour, Part I: 239 Banker Street

February 21, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Street Furniture 

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Taken February 23, 2013.

Quicklink: The New York Times Takes On 239 Banker Street

December 3, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Choice excerpt:

“It’s not crime and disinvestment that’s the enemy of the working-class jobs here anymore,” said Leah Archibald, the director of the East Williamsburg Valley Industrial Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization that administers the Industrial Business Zone. “It’s gentrification that’s become the enemy.”

You read their take by clicking here!

From The New York Shitty Inbox: A Dispatch From 239 Banker Street

October 23, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

A person we’ll call “J” writes:

Hello!

It’s been great reading about 239 Banker Street after I had moved in from your blog. Already planning my move out.
Work restarted this morning: lots of workers all over the building working on apartments. Of particular interest were the bags of cement in the lobby ready to be turned into concrete, and a work permit that expired in July explicitly prohibiting concrete work. So they took down a STOP WORK order to put in an expired work permit that doesn’t even permit them to do what they’re doing in the building.

What a goddamn mess.

New York Shitty analysis: I suppose posting a permit (even an invalid one) is a(n albeit deceptive) step in the right direction. Hilarious.

239 Banker Street: $15,000 in Stop Work Order Fines & Counting!

October 3, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

I know what some of you are asking:

Why do you have such a big problem with 239 Banker Street?

Well, among other things:

1. Using the pretext of “Loft Law” protection (which was ostensibly put in place to preserve “our” artistic community) for “lofts” sporting stainless steel appliances and $2,700+ rent is laughable— and hypocritical.

2. Claiming that this measure protects “families” from being displaced, and the “Community Organizer” seemingly responsible for this loft law application seems to be under this impression, is wretchedly comical. From what I have been told, families are actually being steered away from this property (which is in and of itself illegal). What’s more, windows upon windows of identical “loft beds” do not exactly inspire confidence that this is a family friendly place.

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Rather, it screams “college dormitory”.

3. Let us consider this complaint, shall we?

Had these fellows simply perused Craigslist they would know there’s plenty going on. No inspection required!

Methinks the better questions are:

  • Why was the above-listed advertisement for the former “Sweater Factory Lofts” listed as 245 Banker Street  as opposed to 239 Banker Street?
  • Why so many others have had a problem with 239 Banker Street?

(Those of you have patience and wherewithal can view the rest of this litany of complaints by clicking here.)

  • And why our City Councilman, who did not even reside in Greenpoint (or the 33rd City Council District for that matter) when this shit show started, saw fit to email me about it?

In closing, and for everyone’s edification, I have complied a photo set highlighting the immaculate construction of 239 Banker Street. Without further ado, here it is. Enjoy!

New York Shitty Day Starter: 239 Banker Street Craigslist Advertisement Du Jour

September 21, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Asshole, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Now they’re employing YouTube footage.

New York Shitty analysis:

  • It would probably be advisable to remove the personal items from the previous tenants (who were vacated by the Department of Buildings) before filming.
  • Then again, who cares?

But the insanity does not end there. Let’s proceed, shall we?

So now:

  • 239 Banker Street
  • The Sweater Factory Lofts
  • The Factory Lofts
  • The 39 Meserole Avenue Lofts
  • The “Rustic House” Artists Lofts

are now known as 245 Banker Street. Fascinating. By any other address it still has Stop Work Order.

 

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