Op-Ed: Behind the Curtain at Knickerbocker Village

Posted on: November 13th, 2012 at 10:23 am by

The following is an op-ed written by Thomas Versella.

Much of Knickerbocker Village is still without power, heat, hot water, phone service, mail delivery, garbage collection and internet service. Residents of Knickerbocker Village are outraged at James Simmons, Vice President of the multimillion dollar international investment group Area Property Partners, and Vincent Callagy, Property Manager of the complex. At issue is the company’s failure to have basic preparations in place to deal with the flooding of basements.

One resident said a few guys wearing sweatpants with no flashlights showed up in a van with a few small pumps and began the job. They would work one pump in one area, then dismantle the pump, and move on to another area. It was a joke! Obviously, Area Property Partners did not want to spend the money to hire a crew with the resources to pump the water out. As a result, sea water had more time to damage the building’s mechanical and electrical systems.

Also at issue is the Owner’s failure to make any effort to communicate with anxious tenants until over a week after the storm. Confused security guards were unable to give residents accurate information because Area Property Partners Vice President James Simmons and Vincent Callagy Manager were nowhere to be seen. Volunteers bringing badly needed supplies were told to leave the property. Garbage is piled in front of the building. Lobbies, hallways and stairs remained dark until a few days ago.

It took over a week for the management to open a warming center. Vincent Callagy was overheard bragging about the money spent on a few folding tables in the center, and reminded shivering tenants that they should be grateful. Callagy was also reported to have called police to harass a resident who was taking photographs of the devastation.

Despite their claims, management has not provided tenants with the “comforts” like blankets and checking up on tenants etc. Instead, they instruct security guards to remove any notices posted by desperate tenants who want to organize and find out why Area Property Partners has remained callous and indifferent to the needs of residents. Many tenants say perhaps FEMA and other municipal agencies can help with the recovery.

Area Properties and Management are covering up their incompetence by saying “it’s an old building,” “it was a big storm,” and “we are all in this together.” However, residents believe that if basic, intelligent decisions were made early on, the situation would not have gotten out of control. The health and safety of the residents has been compromised.

Many are saying that after the recovery is completed, there is strong agreement that residents will reach out to government officials and legal organizations to investigate the business practices of Area Property Partners and their employment of a management team that quite frankly, is incompetent. Area Property Partners perhaps will earn much money from federal emergency aid, while tenants at Knickerbocker are told to pay their rent on time.

They have recently begun to issue press statements, and residents laugh at some of the claims made by management about helping the residents with “round the clock concern.” It’s a big sham.

Many residents have finally decided they could not take it any longer and have left their apartments temporarily to live in safer, healthier environments.

Recent Stories

emm-bowery-neons-1
EMM Group Accepts $25k SLA Plea Deal; Birnbaum Says ‘The Bowery has Been a Disaster’

EMM Group got off the hook yesterday with a mere slap on the wrist for its transgressions at 199 Bowery. Spare the rod, spoil the child. A Boogie reader was in attendance and submitted the following dispatch. As predicted, the SLA yesterday accepted EMM Group’s guilty plea on all the charges brought against them at 199 […]

Thompson LES is now "60 LES"
SIXTY Hotels Rebrands the Thompson LES on Allen Street

The Thompson LES completely changed its image within the last few months. As we reported, Jason Pomeranc sold his longtime brand but kept ownership over a few hotels, including 190 Allen Street. It’s now part of the SIXTY Hotels umbrella. And with the “SIXTY LES” rebrand, a new target demographic. For this five-year-old lodge, Pomeranc […]

Cafe Katja is pissed, but passively so
Cafe Katja Klepto Returns Stolen Table

That Cafe Katja klepto exposed at the end of March came clean, and returned the stolen table to the popular Austrian eatery. Guess the flyer campaign around Orchard Street – and its coverage in the press – was enough to shame the thief into doing the right thing. A Boogie tipster tells us that the […]

dna-footwear-lafayette
DNA Footwear Opening Outpost at 273 Lafayette Street

Argentinian luxury clothing chain Etiqueta Negra opened its New York City flagship at 273 Lafayette Street in 2008. The boutique boasted a showroom of menswear and rustic store additions like 1932 Alfa Romeo, leather trunks, and polo memorabilia. Five years later, it bit the dust. Now the space is set to become a shoe warehouse. […]

hummus-shop-ludlow
Own a Piece of the Ludlow Residence Eyesore for $220K

Has it really been two years since our last post about the Ludlow Residence dorm at 101 Ludlow? Okay, onward. If you fancy a piece of the beige penitentiary, the opportune moment has arrived. The narrow, 800 square-foot commercial unit near the dorm entrance – currently home to the Hummus Shop – is now on […]

  • Norituna

    One thing-our building actually still doesn’t have lights in the stairwells and hallways. Thank you very much for what you have done in keeping up with our awful situation.

  • intheknow

    Not shocking at all.

  • just another kv resident

    i was not pleased with them for the first 2 weeks neither but over the last weekend i realized what a chaos it was in the management office when i went down there to volunteer, everyone running around, assisting red cross, fema, boxing up lunch box for the residents that is home bound. everyone kept complaining management is not doing anything, do what i did, go down and volunteer to help out. complaining is not going to speed it up but pitch in and help out will.