Reader Comment du Jour: An Agent Speaks About 239 Banker Street

CitySlicker24 writes in regards to this post:

I am a real estate salesperson and I just started working for a broker that’s representing the property owner, leasing out the building’s top three floors as residential units. I had not heard anything about this building being illegal until a couple of my prospective clients cancelled on me, citing your website.

A couple of things I wanted to raise with you: shows that this is zoned as an office building, not as a manufacturing facility, as your article claims. Also, you fail to mention that the building was issued a certificate of occupancy in 1930, permitting up to 225 occupants on the upper three floors, though you do allude to the fact that NYC Department of Finance has this building classified as a hotel.

Furthermore, an application for legalization under the NYC loft law is pending, and indeed the building has undergone modernization, including new windows, floors, and fire sprinklers installed throughout each unit. I was in the units two days ago and saw that there have been significant projects intended to make the building appropriate for dwelling use.

Obvioulsy your efforts to keep everybody informed are laudable, and now that this story has been brought to my attention, I have the legal duty, which I will uphold, to advise my prospective tenant clients that the building is zoned as a commercial space, that the legal status of the building has yet to be determined, since the DOB has not yet resolved the active complaints, and that an application for coverage under the loft law is pending. And I will try to get the company’s listing agent to bring these issues up with the owner and the city in order to find out whether I should even be dealing with this property at all.

While I disagree with some of Cityslicker’s analysis, for example:

  1. the building in question is permissible as a hotel per the Department of Buildings because it is located in an Industrial Business Zone and
  2. of course there’s the fact this building is not legally allowable as residential property in the first place but is being represented as such

I’ll be very interested to see where this leads.

To be continued…?


4 Comments on Reader Comment du Jour: An Agent Speaks About 239 Banker Street

  1. MaineBarnCat on Mon, 9th Apr 2012 7:02 pm
  2. What does zoning as an office building have to do with an owner presenting the building as residential space?

  3. missheather on Mon, 9th Apr 2012 7:04 pm
  4. Exactly.

  5. Girl On A Stoop on Mon, 9th Apr 2012 10:01 pm
  6. Apartment buildings that have at least three residential units must be registered as a multiple dwelling and must have a certificate of occupancy for residential use—a difficult-to-obtain piece of paperwork. If landlords don’t have those documents, they can neither compel tenants to pay rent nor evict them for nonpayment.

    Maybe the broker needs to disclose this information. 239 Banker St. is set up for 44 apartments and has no permits in place for the illegal construction work that goes on there everyday. Is there a pending law changing the fact that this building needs permits.

  7. missheather on Mon, 9th Apr 2012 10:08 pm
  8. And there are no permits for the work being conducted:

    Note the last item: it requested that this “manufacturing property” be converted to residential. It was denied.

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