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The hammering and drilling began just months after Jared Kushner’s family real estate firm bought a converted warehouse apartment building in the hip, Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.
Tenants say it started early in the morning and went on until nightfall, so loud that it drowned out normal conversation, so violent it rattled pictures off the walls. So much dust wafted through ducts and under doorways that it coated beds and clothes in closets. Rats crawled through holes in the walls. Workers with passkeys barged in unannounced. Residents who begged for relief got a standard reply, “We have permits.”
More than a dozen current and former residents of the building told The Associated Press that they believe the Kushner Cos.′ relentless construction, along with rent hikes of $500 a month or more, was part of a campaign to push tenants out of rent-stabilized apartments and bring high-paying condo buyers in.
If so, it was a remarkably successful campaign. An AP investigation found that over the past three years, more than 250 rent-stabilized apartments — 75 percent of the building — were either emptied or sold as the Kushner Cos. was converting the building to luxury condos. Those sales so far have totaled more than $155 million, an average of $1.2 million per apartment.
The Kushner Cos. told the AP that it didn’t harass any tenants to get them out. But the data suggest turnover at the building known as the Austin Nichols House was significantly higher than city averages for coveted rent-stabilized buildings, leaving behind a trail of anger, disrupted lives and a $10 million lawsuit filed late Sunday in which 20 tenants say they were harassed and exposed to high levels of cancer-causing dust.
“We’ve looked into hundreds of rent-stabilized buildings and this is one of the worst we’ve ever seen,” says Aaron Carr, head of tenant watchdog Housing Rights Initiative, whose investigation led to the lawsuit. “The scale and speed of tenants leaving, the conditions to which they were exposed, provides a window into the Kushner Cos.′ predatory business model.”
Dust samples taken from nine apartments in May by consultants Olmsted Environmental Services turned up dangerously high levels of lead and crystalline silica. Breathing in tiny silica particles has been linked to lung cancer, liver disease and an incurable swelling of the lungs.
The $10 million lawsuit alleges Kushner Cos. and its partners attempted to push tenants out by creating unlivable conditions with construction noise and dust in violation of state and city rules and laws. It also alleges the Kushners, by failing to take proper precautions, exposed residents to a “cloud of toxic smoke and dust.”
converted warehouse apartment building
originally posted by: toysforadults
a reply to: Kharron
no one cares because it's been a nonstop onslaught of trash from Democrat's and Liberals for over 2 years now
surprise he wasn't called racist
originally posted by: Kharron
From the replies so far, I can deduce no one had read the article in full to get the context of the corruption and sleaziness. Some got caught on a phrase early on and just gave up.
If you find nothing of value in knowing who these people are and how they treat other people, for sheer profit, please move on -- I don't think I can explain that to you and you'll just end up derailing the thread. Much obliged.