Former Tenants of 128 Hester Street Demand Relocation Payments from Landlord 7 Years After Demolition and Displacement

Posted on: December 17th, 2016 at 5:18 am by
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Seven years a blight.

The junkyard that is now 128 Hester Street remains an urban wasteland, and doubles as icon of developer greed. It’s a dangerous pit of detritus cordoned off with chain-link fencing. There has been no activity here since the building demolition displaced eight families in 2009.

It began with alleged neglect by the co-owner of 128 Hester, William Su. After purchasing the building in July 2007, Su reportedly let the living conditions deteriorate without correcting, jeopardizing the tenants in the process.

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His Wyndham Garden Hotel on the Bowery backside sealed the deal. Construction on the tower caused structural destabilization, which later lead to forceful evacuation on August 5, 2009; demolition followed shortly thereafter.

Tenant advocates at Asian Americans for Equality remain committed to justice. They held a rally outside the dormant site yesterday, calling on Su to pay the outstanding $1 million in court ordered relocation fees.

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128 Hester Street, circa August 2009

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Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) … with tenants of the former 128 Hester Street building call on the landlord to pay $1M in court ordered relocation fees. In 2009 the property was damaged from the landlord’s adjacent hotel construction project (The Windham Hotel). The landlord failed to protect 128 Hester Street and the building was suddenly vacated and demolished in 2009 forcing all tenants onto the streets. With the help of AAFE, tenants won $1M for the loss of their homes from the Department of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR). This award was upheld by the State Supreme Court. The owner continues to drag out the case by using every appeal to burden the tenants further, and now has put the vacant lot up for sale. AAFE and the tenants call on all buyers to beware, and urge the owner to pay his debts to the tenants so they don’t have to go through one more, cold holiday season.

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