From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part I: A Question About 467 Troutman

May 14, 2010 by
Filed under: 11231, Bushwick, Bushwick Brooklyn 

J writes:

Miss Heather:

I’m apologize in advance if I am wasting your time, but you seem like you might be able to shed some light on a certain amount of confusion I have around 467 Troutman.

I’m looking to move into a 3 BR loft in the area and have been shown several decent options. We were recently shown a space in 467 Troutman – I went in with very low expectations resulting from some internet research and a landlord/manager that I (think) I respect telling me the following:

Eeks! 467 troutman st has no certificate of occupancy, same landlord as 260 Moore street + 315 siegel .I don’t recommend living in that particular landlords buildings-besides the dept of building violations the buildings has bedbug issues and shanty build out of the building…

Anyway, the space I saw was the nicest I’ve seen so far – kitchen/bathroom seemed relatively new and clean, the hallways clean, the buildout seemed better than most I’ve seen, etc…. the overall vibe seemed good – and the the tenant who currently occupies the space told us she’d been there 4 years and had nothing negative to say about the landlord.

Do you know of any good reason to not live there? My feeling is that the building had issues in the past but things are better now… Am I missing something? It seems like Max Starck and 467 Troutman come up often enough on your website in a negative light… so I thought I’d ask you for your opinion.

Thanks so much for any info you might be able to provide, and thanks for doing what you do. It’s an invaluable resource.

Aside from having walked by 467 Troutman (and knowing that Max Starck) is its owner I know very little about this building. For this reason I am putting your inquiry to my readers, J. This having been written I am familiar with a number of Mr. Starck’s other buildings. For the purposes of this post I am going to narrow my focus to two: the Sweater Factory Lofts and the Greenpoint Hotel. Both are located in Greenpoint.

As you have probably learned by perusing my site, the Sweater Factory Lofts were vacated by the Department of Buildings last year for harboring conditions dangerous to human life. Among the violations cited were uncapped electrical wires and sprinklers being sealed over with sheet rock. A rather appalling fire safety hazard if you ask me. It should also be noted that the space in question (239 Banker Street) was zoned to be a hotel but Mr. Starck and his partner were marketing it as residential property. This may seem trivial but the fact of the matter is there are different safety requirements for transient and residential properties. See where I am going with this?

Now let’s consider the Greenpoint Hotel for a moment. Until fairly recently it was owned by Mr. Starck. The new owner (whom I have met and it should be noted acquired this property at a public auction— it was seized) is spending a lot of money to get this facility back to code. Among the violations being corrected are a sagging wall, an inoperative bathroom and, drum roll please, repairing a number of inoperative sprinkler heads.

These are but two examples be they are enough to establish a pattern of neglect and general disregard for tenant safety. I have little doubt if you were to search his other properties (like 315 Seigel Street, for example) you will find similar such stuff. While I applaud your due diligence for talking to a tenant of 467 Troutman Street I have to go with the landlord/manager on this one: keep away from anything this chap owns.

This having been written does anyone— preferably tenants of Mr. Starck’s properties— have any advice for J? If so please leave them in the comments or email them to me at: missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com. All tips/anecdotes will be kept anonymous if you so desire.


Miss Heather


One Comment on From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part I: A Question About 467 Troutman

  1. sleepyarmistice on Fri, 14th May 2010 4:16 pm
  2. I used to live in 315 Seigel and I can say that they take a really hands off approach to building management. On one hand, this means that you can do basically whatever you want and no one will say anything. On the other, things around the building were constantly broken (windows, doors) because people did do basically whatever they wanted and management never made any effort to fix anything. At one point, one of the dryers in the basement caught on fire and the laundry room was closed for like four months as a result. Of course, none of this ever stopped them from raising the rent every year.

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