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.

Greenpoint Photo Du Jour: Men At Work

September 10, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

This vision hails from none other than 239 Banker Street and was taken today, September 10, 2012.

Oh yeah, for those of you who are wondering this building still has a Stop Work Order on it.

 

From The North Brooklyn Community Group*: Open House!

June 28, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Greenwich Village 

Your eyes are not deceiving you, Greenpointers. This weekend there will be an open house at 239 Banker Street! Those of you who are curious to see what an illegal residential conversion in an Industrial Business Zone looks like (or simply want to ask Mr. McHale a lot of really uncomfortable questions about the legal status and history of this building) this is your golden opportunity!


View Larger Map

Tell him New York Shitty sent you.

*Here’s what a member of said forum (a real estate agent, no less) had to say when I pointed out these lofts are NOT legally allowable for residential use:

Well damn. At some point they’re gonna have to tell them that the space is not zoned for living. Its gonna say it right on the lease!

Heh.

New York Shitty Day Ender: From Banker Street With Love

February 19, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Street Art 

Taken February 20, 2011.

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: Signs of Life at The Sweater Factory Lofts?

December 28, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

The tipster who took the above photograph writes:

Open? Vacate notices removed and door propped open. There’s even someone shoveling sidewalk out front.

New York Shitty “glass half full” analysis:

At least they are cleaning the sidewalk.

New York Shitty “glass half empty” analysis:

There is still a Vacate Order on this property.

Whoops.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Ender: Turn Out The Lights

(Or, 239 Banker Street Revisited)

Today on a lark I decided to swing by 239 Banker Street (formerly known as the Sweater Factory Lofts) to see what’s shaking. I was not disappointed.

After I shot the above photograph a gaggle of hipsters took notice and stopped. One of them (who I would presume to be their leader) initiated contact:

I’m guessing you broke that glass because the landlord ripped you off?

I turned around, pointed to the plywood gracing the entrance and replied:

Like I would live in a place like this? I don’t think so.

There was a pregnant pause and then my new friend told me about how the former tenants of this building were ordered out of the building, screwed out of their security deposits and so on and so forth. Although I know of all of this already I listened attentively as he gave me the whole run-down. After he concluded his speech out rolled the corker: he was one of the tenants vacated from this building! There is undoubtedly a life lesson to be had here, dear readers. I will leave it to you to ascertain what it is. But I digress.

When this gent finished his tale of woe I brought it to his attention that he and his neighbors were not the only people Max and his funky bunch owe money to:

(Insert punchline here.)

Miss Heather

P.S.: In (somewhat) related news it would appear that someone has egged the entrance to the Pencil Factory Lofts.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Greenpoint Lofts Going Rental…

February 25, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

and residential? The latter being the in the true north Brooklyn tradition (READ: illegal living space).

Not only are there “for lease” signs gracing the place formerly known as The Greenpoint Lofts but I have intriguing information from a tipster we’ll call Q. It started like this:

Hey Miss Heather,

My name is Q and I stumbled on your blog during my search for a work/live space.  I noticed you had quite a few entries about the place I was considering on 231 Norman…

This raised some serious bells and whistles for yours truly. You see, 231 Norman is by definition (and Certificate of Occupancy) a commercial space. Living is not allowed. I brought this and a number of other concerns to this person’s attention including (but not limited to):

1. The slew of complaints and violations for this property per the Department of Building’s Building Information System

2. What happened at 239 Banker Street). He/she replied:

…No, the property was not advertised as live/work space.  I saw it as a commercial property and I thought it would be possible to convert because the set up of this particular building seems to lend itself to that quite well.  On the other hand, I think there is a bit of wink-wink-nod kind of thing going on about the whole live/work set up.  I had a pretty big discussion with the realtor about putting in some amenities to make it a work/live set up and he informed me that there are people who have done that in the building.  In addition, he didn’t say that my plans to convert the place to make it more “livable” was anything illegal.  Of course, if one is to be a cynic, one could say that he is just eager to make a sale…

If 239 Banker has taught a number of unfortunate folks (and yours truly) an unpleasant lesson it is this: exercise due diligence. Do not take a broker’s word as gospel. This is not to suggest there are not reputable, ethical, dedicated brokers out there. There are— but there are many who are not. Especially in these lean economic times.

It goes without saying that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your instincts and do not fool yourself into thinking that illegal conversions (even if given a blind eye by the developer and/or the real estate agents who represent his/her) cannot or will not effect you.

They can and will. The last I heard the residents of 239 Banker Street have yet to get back their deposit money. There’s a distinct possibility they never will. Don’t become a statistic.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Starter: Feministing

January 21, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Culture War, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

From Banker Street.

Miss Heather

Note: The second image hails from none other than the SWO’ed and vacated Sweater Factory Lofts.

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