New York Shitty Day Starter: An Open Letter To Governor Paterson

When I finally had the time and wherewithal to contact you were unavailable. So here it is.

Dear Mr. Paterson,

Several months ago I was contacted by a person from Richard Gottfried’s office about illegal hotels. She wanted to know about any and all illegal hotel activity I knew about in Williamsburg. Despite being the proprietress of the Village Voice’s “Best Neighborhood Blog of 2009” I was not as helpful as I would have liked to have been; I live in Greenpoint.

However, Greenpoint has its fair share of this kind of thing and I brought them to her attention. Foremost and above all is 184 Eagle Street (formerly known as the Luxe Guesthouse). How do I know about this, you ask? Very simple: I have had residents of said building email me.  Repeatedly. Follows are a couple of their complaints:

“Greetings… I noticed that you covered the “shadiness” that is the development at 184 Eagle St. I am sad to say, I am a resident at 184 Eagle St, and unbelievably I am under a lease. I can tell you first hand that this place is basically a Hostel, and while most original tenants have found a way out of here, I am still trying (with my security/last month intact). Nevertheless, shady things keep happening at the building (the other day a group of girls at the door asked me if the “club” was open today, whatever that means).” From May 14, 2009.

“I am very sad to say that I also live at the now ramshackle shanty condo located at 184 Eagle Street… Similarly to the last resident who dropped you a note, I’ve come across some unsavory characters wandering around in, and trying to follow me into the building. After I shut the door before the last bunch could get in, the guy started yelling at me through the glass and randomly dialing numbers on the call box. I don’t feel safe here at all anymore. Indeed, it simply isn’t.”

This hails from a building where people who are paying $2,000+ a month in rent. In other words: “people who matter”. Speaking as someone who lives a few blocks away I can assure you the “safety” issue extends much further than 184 Eagle Street proper. If the “transactions” I’ve seen are any indication I’d say the drug business is thriving. I have little doubt this underground tourist trade is in large part responsible for this; backpackers looking for a bunk and a good time— with no regard for their neighbors. They drink, get high, break and leave. My community has to deal with the consequences.

If you want to see more abject examples I’d suggest looking at Hotel Toshi’s web site. I recognized (albeit by not specific addresses) quite a few buildings he is employing as hotel space. The one that really got to me was Mr. Toshi’s “Southside Swiss Chalet”. This is, most assuredly, located in a rent-stabilized building.

I’ve featured all the previous and more on my website, Mr. Paterson.  Please approve this legislation.

As I said before: apartments should be for New Yorkers, not tourists.

Miss Heather

Quicklink: A Timely New York Times Editorial

It was recently brought to my attention by a buddy of mine at Joe Lentol’s office that legislation has been brought forward by State Senator Liz Krueger and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried to end the nuisance that are illegal hotels in our city (such as the now defunct Luxe Guesthouse which operated at 184 Eagle Street right here in the Garden Spot and can be seen at left) once and for all. What’s more, the New York Times has seen fit to print a pretty good editorial supporting this legislation. Please give this item a read and, if you agree, take a moment to make our Governor aware that you do not support residential apartments— especially those in rent stabilized buildings— being pressed into service as transient housing. Housing in New York City should be for New Yorkers, not tourists.

Thanks!

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Starter: Back at it at 184 Eagle?

November 2, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

184eaglethumbRemember 184 Eagle Street? For those of you who don’t it is a failed condo (nondo) which was being pressed into service as an illegal “hostel”. Truth be told I had almost forgotten about this bit of real estate bust hilarity. Almost: I recently received a reminder in my inbox:

concerned neighbor who writes:

You know I really bought the whole rogue tenant thing UNTIL now!!!!

Here is a listing for a 1 week “sublet” @ 184 eagle street…

CL184eagle

184eagleinterior

Perhaps I am being a stickler but didn’t the ad copy clearly state this apartment was furnished?

Hmm…

(to be continued, no doubt…)

Miss Heather

Yet More Fun At 184 Eagle Street: F**king FED UP!!!

July 10, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

184eaglethumb(Formerly known as the Luxe Guesthouse)

Anonymous writes (in an email entitled I’m F**cking FED UP!!!):

OMG, the fun REALLY just doesn’t stop here at 184 Eagle.

Apparently, Sam Fruchter (the owner of the building, Best On Eagle) and a few tenants got into a huge fight about his lack of a valid Certificate of Occupancy and his continued attempts to rent apartments to more people than the fire code allows. The building has been illegally occupied for over 1 year.

He’s been quietly negotiating rock bottom rents with most of us, offering better units etc., to keep people who know what’s happening silent and honestly the price offered is better, but NOW I’m concerned. While searching for greener pastures (aka a new legit apartment), I found his newest POSTING while searching for new space in the neighborhood.

What F***king gives!!! — No matter how much we complain, no matter how much he says otherwise -  He still continues to post ads on craigslist that CLEARLY and OPENLY state his willingness to SLEEP up to 6~ in a 2 bedroom apartment. ON CRAIGSLIST LONG TERM!!!!  LONG TERM Miss Heather!!!

THIS MAN JUST DOESN’T KNOW WHEN TO STOP!!!! You CANNOT sleep 6 in a 2 bedroom – it’s against fire code…….He’s not even hiding it ANYMORE!!! Also, can 6 people even legally sign a lease in a new building that does not have a Certificate of Occupancy???? (check out the 3rd paragraph).

The six people disturbs me a little bit, BUT what REALLY disturbs me more, is his willingness to post it on Craigslist – IMAGINE how many he’s REALLY willing to allow to “sleep”, if he’s comfortable posting that on craigslist.

I don’t trust this guy. Now, I know for sure that he simply doesn’t care about the quality of life of his tenants. It’s all about the money. Look @ this ad Ms. Heather !!!! This apartment looks mighty familiar!!!

He’s working with two new guys*, but it’s the same CRAP, but NOW it’s LONGTERM! PLEASE call the telephone #  and set-up your own “appointment” to fact-check.

vacation rentalREV

NOW I AM REALLY OUT OF HERE, any one willing to sign a “lease” is not looking at the bigger picture!!!!

Sincerely Furious.

mickeygs

I have written about this property time and time again.

http://www.newyorkshitty.com/?p=21336

http://www.newyorkshitty.com/?p=20064

http://www.newyorkshitty.com/?p=19306

http://www.newyorkshitty.com/?p=15568

http://www.newyorkshitty.com/?p=15479

Nothing happens.

Same song, different verse. I wonder how long it will take the Department of Buildings to pick up the tune?

Miss Heather

P.S.: Anonymous later wrote:

…forgot the copy of the link (screencap — Ed. Note), just in case they take it down (learned that from you).

This makes me proud. In my three years of hammering away at New York Shitty, the fact this person took a screencap of said advertisement (which I annotated) made my trials and tribulations totally worth it.

*Where did Kisha Richardson, AKA: fizzburg.com go? Don’t bother looking it up here, look up “Luxeguesthouse.com

Greenpoint Photo Du Jour: 184 Eagle Street

June 19, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

If anyone from the Department of Buildings is reading this (and finally feels inclined to inspect this building which has a number of complaints filed that an illegal hotel is being operated on the premises— some of which date as far back as February) you might want to check out this unit located on easternmost corner of the 5th floor.

bunkbeds

As you can see a pair of bunk beds are clearly visible from the street. Bunk beds, I will add, which bear a striking resemblance to the ones featured on Luxe Guesthouse’s web site.*

bunks

It doesn’t get much more obvious than this, folks. Not that I expect this post (or any of my previous posts about this building) to motivate the Department of Buildings to actually do anything. They’ve sat on their hands for five months and I have little doubt they will continue to do so for at least five more.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again:

What is the point of having laws on the books if they are not enforced?

This is laughable.

Miss Heather

Image Credits/Information: The former photograph was taken yesterday, June 18 at approximately 10:00 p.m. The latter comes courtesy of Hostel Bookers dot com.

*Which is currently parked but a new and improved site is promised. Hence why I gleaned the latter image from Hostel Bookers dot com.

More Fun At 184 Eagle Street

May 28, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

184eaglethumbLast holiday weekend I realized how much I needed a vacation. To this end my day trip to the Bronx was just the thing to jolt me from my rut and get me out having a good time. This afternoon, however, it has been brought to my attention that if I’m looking for a swinging time I do not leave the borough. Hell, I need not leave Greenpoint for that I matter: I just need to saunter down to 184 Eagle Street. Anonymous writes:

Dear Miss Heather,

I am very sad to say that I also live at the now ramshackle shanty condo located at 184 Eagle Street… Similarly to the last resident who dropped you a note, I’ve come across some unsavory characters wandering around in, and trying to follow me into the building. After I shut the door before the last bunch could get in, the guy started yelling at me through the glass and randomly dialing numbers on the call box. I don’t feel safe here at all anymore. Indeed, it simply isn’t.

The building is a sinking ship and literally every resident (yes, we are the fleeing rats) with whom I’ve spoken has moved out or is going to very soon. The travesty, though not surprising, is that the owner is showing apartments to potential renters despite not having a certificate of occupancy. Me thinks this might be illegal, no?

I cannot wait to get out of this shit hole.

If anyone reading this is a resident of this “shit hole” I implore you to take photographs and/or shoot video footage and send them to me at:

missheather (at) newyorkshitty (dot) com

I would very much like to post them.

Miss Heather

Calling All Disgruntled North Brooklyn Renters!

May 28, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

rentalhellYour golden silver parachute has come! Jenny wrote:

I’m trying to forward you a cool email that I got from the Working Families party about a video contest to tell stories of “renters’ hell,” but it keeps being labeled “spam.” Any workaround?

We worked it out and here’s the deal. Per the Working Families Party website:

We’re holding our first ever video contest, where you have a chance to win a month’s free rent just by telling your rental hell story on camera. You’ll also be raising awareness about an important issue that affects millions of New Yorkers: the need for stronger rent laws.

Everyone who has ever rented has a story: rent increases, broken heating and cold showers, new owners trying to break your lease, that one bedroom next door rented to four budget conscious students, or waking up to discover that you(r) building is turning into an illegal hotel.

We know it was awful, and we’re sorry. But guess what? There could be a silver-lining! The Working Families Party is teaming up with millions of renters across New York City for the first ever video contest highlighting Rental Hell.

Entering the contest is easy:

1. Tell your story on camera.
2. Upload it to Youtube and tag it with “Rental Hell”.
3. Fill out our entry form.

What’s more, you can win one month’s free rent up to $1,999— or whatever your monthly rent is! Be advised your video must be between 30 seconds and five minutes. You can peruse the complete rules and regulations for this contest by clicking here. The deadline is June 6th— so start grousing!

To close on a distinctly Greenpoint note, I would strongly advise anyone who resided at 156 India Street (or resided at 95 Clay Street for that matter) to enter this contest.

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: The Fun Keeps On Coming At 184 Eagle Street…

May 14, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

or would that be the Luxe Guesthouse?

184eaglest

Anonymous writes:

Greetings… I noticed that you covered the “shadiness” that is the development at 184 Eagle St. I am sad to say, I am a resident at 184 Eagle St, and unbelievably I am under a lease. I can tell you first hand that this place is basically a Hostel, and while most original tenants have found a way out of here, I am still trying (with my security/last month intact). Nevertheless, shady things keep happening at the building (the other day a group of girls at the door asked me if the “club” was open today, whatever that means).

Perhaps that D.O.B. complaint I found so amusing is true?

184eaglepart1

As you can see this was filed February, 5 2009…

specialops

and we’re still waiting.

In closing here are some screencaps of Luxe Guesthouse’s and Department of Buildings respective web sites for your amusement.

reservation-requests

Since when in the course of requesting a reservation is one’s gender, nature of visit and nationality been relevant to secure a place to hang one’s hat. Oh wait, I forgot, this place is totally illegal!

nocofo2

1/30/09: the Department of Buildings takes note that 184 Eagle Street is a new building without a valid Certificate of Occupancy.

2/27/09: I am tipped off to an illegal hotel/hostel being operated at 184 Eagle Street.

2/28/09: I am tipped off that the powers behind Luxe Guesthouse have been canvassing Greenpoint businesses.

illegalaptonfl5

3/19/09: “Caller states there is an illegal apartment on the 5th floor”

nocofo1

3/19/09: the Department of Buildings takes note, once again, that 184 Eagle Street has no valid Certificate of Occupancy.

3/30/09: I beat my head against the wall once again.

elevatordontwork

4/3/09: The Department of Buildings notes the elevator at “182 Eagle” is not functioning properly. So they issue paperwork to the respondent:

Best Value Inc.
394 McGuiness Blvd. LIC, NY 11222.

Could someone please explain to me the previous timeline of municipal malfeasance? Let’s review:

  • We have a building with no certificate of occupancy whatsoever.
  • Yet it is inhabited by renters…
  • and patrons of an illegal hotel/hostel.
  • The Department of Buildings is clearly aware of C of O issue.
  • They have cited the owners of this building twice for this offence.
  • They have cited the owners of this building for an inoperative elevator.
  • Yet the Department of Buildings has yet to figure out what many of us know already: 184 Eagle Street is being run as an illegal hostel/hotel.

Which brings me to this:

luxeguesthouse

A Certificate of Occupancy is used for a number of purposes:

  1. to establish how a property is to be used, e.g.; residential, commercial, manufacturing, etc.
  2. it also establishes occupancy, e.g.; how many people can be in said space.
  3. it is used to determine taxes on landlords.

This building has no Certificate of Occupancy. Luxe Guesthouse, AKA: 184 Eagle Street, will only take cash, money orders, travelers checks and paypal. Can you say tax evasion?

Miss Heather

North Greenpoint Photos Du Jour: Bodega Daze

March 30, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

The following photographs may not necessarily depict bodegas per se but they do represent the way north Greenpoint has changed, for better or worse.

eaglestbodega

R.I.P at Eagle and Franklin Street.

joses

Renovated, empanadaed and in demand down the block.

sanda

This was my bodega of choice when I lived on Clay Street.

acapulco

This is not a bodega. However, Acapulco Deli & Restaurant resides next to the S & A Deli and is one of the most underrated diners in the Garden Spot. What’s more, now they’re sporting a fancy new awning!

donedeals

Greenpoint Furniture formerly (and possibly currently)  known as “DONE DEAL$”.

minimarket

I was never too big on this one (too much emphasis on meat) but the “presentation” is nice. Good place to buy soda, though.

oldandnewoneaglenys

Such is the life nowadays in north Greenpoint. Of all the people depicted in the above photograph who do you most identify with? More importantly, does it even matter?

We’re all in this together for better or worse, Greenpointers. Best to direct our angst or get a collective chuckle out of people who write stuff like this:

I have to say that all of the places in Brooklyn and Manhattan that I considered moving to, I did not consider Greenpoint at first.  Then I saw the posting for the 305 McGuinness Lofts in early February. I am a huge sucker for apartment porn, as I call it, and the new condo-turned-rental developments are great for that.  This was a Craigslist listing for a brand new triplex: 3 BRs, 2 BAs, brand new appliances, loft like ceilings, on-site parking and a gym. Shane and I quickly agreed: Yep, going to see that. Per the broker, Baris, these had just hit the market and so far they had curious locals coming to see the building.*

So we went on a cloudy Sunday. Getting off of the G train at the Greenpoint Ave stop and seeing the Starbucks warmed the cockles of my heart. We had a lot of time so we went to see the open house that was posted on Craigslist for 110 Green St.  The road itself was desolate but on the right-hand side there was this huge building. It had no sign (later discovered it had been called the Viridian, and was very famous for having Magic Johnson as an investor, and even more famous for going bankrupt last month) and it was very clearly still under construction. We checked out the model apartment, which was extraordinarily tiny. They were, and still are, charging $2,900 for a 2 BR and $3,600 for a 3 BR, so I was curious to check them out. There were many potential tenants and only 1 sales rep. He took us to see the area where there supposedly will be a huge, olympic sized swimming pool (suuuuuure), and then this enormous atrium, which was supposed to have had a fountain, but then explained that the original plans had already been downgraded to now include a simple lounge area instead. At that point, we ran out of time, so we left unimpressed, thinking they needed a reality check.  With those prices and 138 new units to rent, each with limited space, it seems to be a daunting task, indeed.

After that disappointment, we headed off to 305 McGuinness Lofts. McGuinness Blvd, for those who don’t know (and I didn’t) is a very noisy, busy road with traffic gunning to and from Brooklyn and Queens via the Pulaski bridge. The apartment building was under heavy construction (and still is), with wires dangling and walls unfinished. We were shown the triplexes and duplexes. The triplexes were cool: 1200+ sq feet in each, with 2 entrances, 2 bedrooms & 1 bathroom on the bottom floor, kitchen with huge windows and decent living/dining space on the 2nd floor and then the third floor mezzanine with another room that will (one day, in theory) have sliding glass doors overlooking the living/dining area, and another bathroom. W/D comes with every unit, as does central air, lovely new appliances and huge windows. I wasn’t crazy about the bedrooms, which were small, and the limited amount of closet space in each, but overall, it was a nice place for a relatively decent price.

But nice floors, beautiful appliances, kitchen, huge windows and only $3,000 with a free month thrown in. Add in on-site parking and the gym? Awesome! Duplexes with 2 bedrooms plus an area for an office space, had a nicer view but the 2nd floor/mezzanine had a ridiculously low ceiling, barely clearing Shane’s head, and they only had 1 bathroom. Additionally, the mezzanine/2nd bedroom shared a huge window with the master suite, and the two rooms were not completely shutoff from each other due to that window, so we figured, if we lived here, it’d be the triplex…

Yes, this was ostensibly written by a “real person”. While gloating over the “lovely new appliances” and “huge windows” our wannabe/soon-to-be neighbor didn’t notice the rather fragrant and enormous waste treatment plant one block away.

Real estate shill or simply clueless?

I’ll let you make the call. A triplex overlooking the Shit Tits, anyone?

Miss Heather

*This is true. We stare in dumbfounded amazement at this edifice wondering why some dumbass, a bankrolled one at that, would build such a turd on McGuinness Boulevard. Daily. It is a constant source of amusement.

P.S.: The 184 Eagle Street post is a HOOT:

When we were first heading over to Greenpoint to check out 305 McGuinness I also put in a call to check out the listing for a luxury 2 BR, 2 BA with mezzanine place (pics above), complete with on-site parking.  Was told by the real estate agent that it was for 184 Eagle Street but that tenants were in the place so I couldn’t see it that day (Sunday).  Weekdays weren’t good for me so I passed.

Then a few weeks back Brownstoner picked up on a story posted by New York Shitty about 184 Eagle St doing hostel duty on the side.  Apparently a tipster found the Craigslist posting.  So…while they wait for a real rental, they’re making money by renting out the place on a weekly basis where you can get either a bunk bed ($28 per night) or a private room ($78 per night).  Um, ew?

Um, welcome to my reality lady. I have seen a number of my neighbors— renters all— “displaced” by development. It happens like this: a developer purchases 1,2,3 lots in a row— usually because the landholder cannot afford the real estate taxes— and the tenants are forced to vacate. And in the place of their former homes are erected testaments to gentrification such as 110 Green Street, 184 Eagle Street and 305 McGuinness. Their target demographic: people like you.

But the locations are deemed “too crude” by people like you (greed and easy credit makes developers do silly things) so they have to find more creative ways to meet their loan debt like skipping over the whole Certificate of Occupancy thing.

184eaglepart2

Or employing a dead condo (“nondo”) as an illegal hostel/hotel. Thus generating what is my opinion one of the most hilarious complaints I have ever seen on the Department of Buildings web site.

184eaglepart1

Who says gentrification/displacement can’t be funny?

More Fun With The Luxe Guesthouse

February 28, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

184eaglest

It’s Saturday afternoon and I am pleased to announce that the fun isn’t over yet with Greenpoint’s newest luxury hostel— in fact, it looks like it has just begun. Apparently the Luxe Guesthouse at 184 Eagle Street (as seen above) is only one of three hostels Fizzburg Equity Partners LLC has set up in Greenpoint. And it doesn’t stop there: three more such establishments are in the works. Don’t believe me? Read the following email thoughtfully provided by an anonymous tipster who writes:

Thought you might want to read this, since I saw a posting on your site. I got it a while back from a girl in town who was working with the local businesses to try to get us to hire her firm for PR. We didn’t, but apparently this is her new venture…luxury hostels.

fizzburg

SIX?!?

Miss Heather

P.S.: Be sure to mark your calendars kids; per their Facebook page the Luxe Guesthouse’s Grand Opening is March 15th! For more info on Kisha (and her plan to take over the world) click here.

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