Bowery Tenants Protest Harassment and Eviction Tactics of Landlord Joseph Betesh

Posted on: July 19th, 2017 at 5:11 am by

Embattled rent regulated tenants at 83-85 Bowery are committed to fighting landlord Joseph Betesh. The Tenants Association there is holding a protest against Betesh later today to shine light on the displacement and alleged lack of repairs in the two tenements.

Betesh purchased the adjacent tenements at 83-85 Bowery back in 2013 alongside ten other Bowery buildings in a blockbuster portfolio deal valued at $62 million. It didn’t take long for the alleged harassment to begin. Betesh reportedly offered $15,000 buyouts to tenants, who refused. That’s when the boxes of lawsuits arrived by the front door for the new case in state Supreme Court, alleging that the buildings needed to be vacated for “necessary” infrastructural repairs. All along, though, advocates argued that Betesh purposely left the property to rot to expedite eviction and demolition, and that repairs can be done while residents remain. Ye olde “construction as harassment tactics.

Jenifer Rajkumar calls on slumlord Joseph Betesh to make repairs at 83-85 Bowery, May 2015

When: Wednesday, July 19th at 4pm

Where: 83-85 Bowery

Who: 83-85 Bowery Tenants Association

What: The tenants of 83-85 Bowery are holding a demonstration in front of their buildings against their landlord, Joseph Betesh, for eviction and harassment that has been dragging on for two years. Shortly after Joseph Betesh, whose family owns Dr. Jay’s, the clothing store chain, bought the buildings, he began to evict the tenants. Even though the tenants won a court judgment holding the landlord responsible for neglect and lack of repairs, Betesh ignored the court order and took additional steps to kick out the tenants. Due to the City’s refusal to pass the Chinatown Working Group Rezoning Plan, Chinatown has been seriously hit with displacement and gentrification. Still, the tenants are still in Chinatown and determined to continue to fight to protect their homes and demand landlord Joseph Betesh honor rent-stabilization status of the buildings and repair the buildings immediately.

The Betesh Bowery portfolio includes 83, 85, 88, 103, 105, 219, 221, 262, 276, 280, and 284 Bowery. These properties had been family owned since the 1930s until 2013.

Recent Stories

Clayton’s Corner: Overthrow the Wrong Way

In this installment of Clayton’s Corner, photographer Clayton Patterson shares news that the Overthrow boxing gym on Bleecker Street is back in action. Then, crosstown on Essex Street, two cops stopped for a quick slice. However, flouting traffic by driving the wrong way to park in front of Champion Pizza. This move seemed to irk […]

How COVID and a Bus Stop Chased Benson’s from Essex Street

The following guest post was penned by Boogie reader Sydney Fishman. For five years, Benson’s held down the corner of East Houston and Essex Streets with craft beers, sumptuous burgers, and the occasional movie night. The movie nights, according to owner Annie Morton, were the highlight of Benson’s tenure on the Lower East Side. Before […]

Next Phase of Market Line at Essex Crossing Now Visible

With scaffolding and other construction elements removed from The Artisan building at Essex Crossing, another part of the Market Line is coming into focus. Unlike the westernmost third of the Market Line, this section beneath 180 Broome Street feels less like a dungeon. Design elements, including massive grand staircase and full facade glass open the […]

14-Story Eldridge Street Hotel Hit with Stop Work Order

The hotel newcomer underway on lower Eldridge Street – recently topped out at fourteen stories – met the might of the city. Inspectors from Department of Buildings issued a stop-work order on 79 Eldridge about a week ago. It’s a full order which only allows work “to provide shoring for all staircases and provide design […]

Eighteen Groups Sign Open Letter Demanding Transparency over CB3 Removal of Committee Chairs

Eighteen community groups within Community Board 3 on the Lower East Side this week co-signed an open letter to city and state officials urging inquiry into the removal of Alexandra Militano and Carolyn Ratcliffe as chairs of the SLA and Arts & Culture subcommittees, respectively. The shakeup, apparently inspired by a stated “new direction” for […]