289 Grand Street Tenants Association Celebrates Court Victory Over Landlords
After two years of drawn-out legal proceedings against the landlords of 289 Grand Street, there is finally some semblance of closure to the whole fire-scorched issue. A landmark decision in the city court system on Friday ruled in favor of the tenants who have sought a return home after such a lengthy tenure in exile. The tragic, yet no less historic blaze in April 2010 displaced 200 residents, injured 33, and left an 87-year-old man dead.
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Through all the tenant litigiousness, the owners of 289 Grand Street evoked ye olde “economic infeasibility” defense which basically stated that repairing the building “would completely overwhelm any possible income that the building could generate.” They wanted the corner tenement razed to the ground. Indeed, the court documents show that ownership estimated the “pre-fire” value of 289 at roughly $3.5 million, and that rehabilitation would exceed more than double that amount. However, the judge wasn’t having it, and ruled in favor of the tenants, ordering the full restoration of all apartments by March 1, 2013.
Late Friday afternoon, the judgement was officially announced to the public via press conference. The press opp was attended by local pols including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Council Member Margaret Chin, and State Senator Daniel Squadron.
Court papers below: