Report: Samy Mahfar Now Trying to Upscale 102 Norfolk Street

Posted on: July 10th, 2014 at 6:11 am by
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Controversial landlord Samy Mahfar – who sits on the board of the Lower East Side BID – continues to gobble up properties around the neighborhood. His latest acquisition was 102 Norfolk Street in April, for which he paid $11 million. Massey Knakal brokered that deal.

Since 102 Norfolk is located directly beside a cantilevered mess of condos currently in the works, its residential composition must match. Right? Luxury conversion. This seems to be the motive behind Mahfar’s successive purchases, all at the expense of longtime tenants. One need only revisit the bevy of epic events that transpired at 143 Ludlow Street.

Several tipsters allege that Mahfar is moving quickly to displace the rent stabilized tenants in the building, most of whom are Chinese families that barely speak a lick of English. We hear that “relocation specialists” (euphemism for landlord muscle) have been snooping around for months trying to offer buyouts to tenants. But residents are resisting.

In fact, this property was actually an ancillary character in a New York Times piece published today, though the address is not disclosed.

In another building owned by Mr. Mahfar on the Lower East Side, Steven M. Yee is holding out and also helping to organize the Chinese immigrant families in the building to do the same.

“Buyouts destroy communities,” Mr. Yee said.

He said that tenants there received offers of $40,000 to $70,000 since the building changed hands earlier this year, and that some tenants had accepted. Mr. Yee, 45, a restaurant/bar consultant, conceded that he would consider a buyout himself for $250,000 or more.

So, in light of all this, it’s certainly interesting that Mahfar would participate in a somewhat recent panel discussion about Lower East Side “historic preservation” when he’s arguably aiding and abetting the opposite.

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