Fearing a Fiery Death in Croman-Owned 159 Stanton Street
Controversial landlord Steve Croman has a new nickname; his tenants are apparently calling him the “Fire Menace.” With good reason. Two of his properties, including 159 Stanton Street, are (timely) textbook examples of alleged construction harassment that led to flagrant safety violations and vacate orders.
For instance, tenants living in the half-renovated 159 Stanton Street previously spent some eighteen months vulnerable to fire risks due to the prior removal of fire-stopping materials.
Meanwhile, Steve Croman awaits sentencing on twenty felony counts, and faces 25 years behind bars.
The Cooper Square Committee doesn’t want anyone to forget the dangers. From the mailbag:
In December 2016, the 159 Stanton Street Tenants Association filed a lawsuit against Croman for unsafe building conditions and alleged tenant harassment. After their first court appearance, City inspectors uncovered that fire stopping materials had been removed from throughout their half-renovated building. The fire stopping materials were removed in work done sometime around August-October of 2015. The building sat vulnerable to fire risks for approximately 18 months under 9300 Realty’s ownership.
In late February 2017, the court ordered firestopping materials to be reinstalled into 159 Stanton Street immediately. Croman’s work crews allegedly damaged the building’s structural integrity so badly during earlier renovations, that when workers began reinstalling the required fire stopping materials two units’ ceilings began caving in. The units were immediately vacated by the NYC Dept. of Buildings.
At the same time this was occurring, a senior who lives on the 4th floor of 159 Stanton Street was fighting to have a boarded up window, which provided her access to the fire escape, repaired. It took the City stepping in and making emergency repairs to the window to get the repair process started. Only after the City imposed additional costs and fines to finish the repair did 9300 Realty step in to do the remaining work and get fire escape access restored. All in all, this senior was without access to her fire escape for 5+ months.
Now 9300 Realty has caused yet another three units of housing to be vacated. Tenants from 450 West 50th Street have been vacated due to fire safety issues. A NYC Dept. of Buildings vacate order now mandates the units be unoccupied until the rear apartments of this building are provided an unobstructed fire passageway. Tenants have been vacated for over three weeks.