Tenants at 151 Norfolk Street Fearful of Takeover by Notorious Landlord with Harassment History
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Residents of 151 Norfolk Street are freaking out. Especially the rent-regulated ones. Their tenement building at the corner of Stanton Street just changed hands last week for an undisclosed sum. While city records aren’t yet updated to reflect the transaction, the landlord is revealed to be one of the bad guys.
We just received a tip that “Rent stabilized tenants were notified by R.A. Cohen & Associates about purchase of 151 Norfolk Street and are very worried what is to come.” (You can read the full letter below.) With good reason. This company is known for its poor behavior in Chinatown, where more than a year of alleged harassment had previously transpired. The firm purchased 135-137 Eldridge Street in 2014 for $11 million and reportedly resorted to the tenant harassment playbook – evictions, buyouts, changing apartment numbers, and hazardous interior demolition as intimidation.
The letter, addressed to the tenants of 151 Norfolk Street, notes that “effective June 15, 2016, ownership of 151 Norfolk Street has been transferred to 151 Norfolk Associates LLC c/o R.A. Cohen & Associates, Inc.” There is also a “commitment to quality management” from the full-service real estate investment company, and how they “look forward to putting our expertise to work on your behalf.” For rent-regulated tenants, that “expertise” may or may not signal more of the same.