Rosie Mendez Goes ‘Lower East Side Nuclear’ on Samy Mahfar Stooge at Opposition Rally Yesterday [VIDEO]

Posted on: December 11th, 2014 at 5:08 am by
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Fed up with the harassment and constant “war zone” conditions during luxury upgrades, a coalition of tenants in Samy Mahfar properties assembled yesterday afternoon for an impromptu rally of opposition. The Mahfar Tenants Coalition was joined by local electeds to shine a light on the toxic lead levels at both 102 Norfolk and 210 Rivington Streets. Oh, and was there drama! A Boogie birdie was in attendance – braving the elements – and filed the following dispatch. It’s broken up for easy consumption.


Brandon Kielbasa (Cooper Square Committee) spoke about the current situation at 102 Norfolk and then touched upon the new lead test results for 210 Rivington. Both levels are well above the legal limit, and with no solution in sight from SMA Equities (Mahfar’s company), despite repeated attempts from local/state officials and tenants.

The construction and harassment is still ongoing at both buildings. The current lead issues were barely addressed by SMA when they were reported a couple of months ago, aside from a half-ass removal job. Supposedly, tenants have this all on camera which includes venting dust out the window, and possibly onto the nearby school (presumably Lower East Side Montessori across the street).

Tenants from the affected buildings then spoke, including a woman who shared a story about her son being admitted to the hospital with respiratory issues due to the toxic dust in the building. After their testimonies, Councilmembers Margaret Chin, Rosie Mendez, a rep from Gale Brewer’s office, and a City Lead Specialist lawyer each urged the critical need to address lead mitigation regulations, not just in these buildings, but citywide. You can head here to sign the petition.


Seth Wandersman (210 Rivington Street) began to speak about his living conditions when all of a sudden Omer Zwickel, SMA Director of Asset Management & Construction (Mahfar’s right-hand man) pushes to get up front and starts filming with his phone directly in front of Wandersman. Very intimidating. As in, “I dare you to speak out against SMA …” Then Rosie Mendez swoops in from the other side and goes full out, old school, Lower East Side nuclear on the Mahfar stooge. Arms folded and all. I started to film after about 5 secs of it going down. It was inspiring to watch happen.

At the end of the press conference, Omer Zwickel and another SMA rep stayed behind to continue filming Brandon, the elected officials and any tenants still there from his phone. It was probably the creepiest thing I’ve seen in a long time. Like trying to be an ironic “gotcha” reporter but in reverse with the bad guy filming the officials, tenants and members of Cooper Square Committee. Very strange, super creepy, highly unprofessional and beyond insincere about the cause.

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