85 Bowery Landlord Under Fire for Being Late in Emergency Repairs, Chin Demands Relief

Posted on: February 1st, 2018 at 5:09 am by

Two weeks ago today, seventy-five people (i.e. 29 families) were evacuated from 85 Bowery, in what is the latest chapter of a nasty dispute between tenants and landlord Joseph Betesh. The court-ordered inspection on January 18 resulted in a Department of Buildings determination that the main stairwell was not structurally sound, and required an immediate vacate order. It became ground zero for emergency personnel that night.

The city also ordered Joseph Betesh to repair the stairs within fourteen days of the vacate order. Which is today. The work is not yet done, and no timetable to completion was given. Most of the displaced tenants remain holed up in a purported hovel of a hotel in Brooklyn, and cannot return until the stairs are repaired. An outcome feared from the beginning.

The destabilized staircase at 85 Bowery, January 2018

Will there be disciplinary action enforced by the city?

In response, Councilwoman Margaret Chin penned a scathing letter to Betesh (below) and also re-introduced four-year-old legislation that would require negligent landlords to foot the bill for relocation costs in such situations.

“Since you have stated that repairs will extend beyond the February 1st deadline set by the NYC Department of Buildings, I demand relief for dozens of tenants who have been displaced from their homes since a court-ordered inspection determined that the building’s structural integrity posed substantial life-safety hazards,” Chin wrote in her letter.

“It is unacceptable to have residents, through no fault of their own, continue to pay for the consequences of having their lives uprooted and disrupted. As necessary repairs continue, tenants deserve to have a safe, comfortable place in proximity to their children’s schools, their workplaces and their communities.”

Councilwoman Chin’s Letter to 85 Bowery Landlord by BoweryBoogie on Scribd

Recent Stories

Fearing COVID-19 Resurgence, De Blasio Halts Indoor Dining Indefinitely

Not so fast. Phase 3 of the reopening plan is slated to launch on Monday. However, it arrives without the resumption of indoor dining at bars and restaurants, as initially conceived. Mayor de Blasio announced the news at his morning presser yesterday, citing the nationwide surges of COVID-19 cases and the elevated dangers of indoor […]

When Rivington House Wouldn’t Clean its Garbage Mess, a Neighbor Stepped In

A Good Samaritan took responsibility where a multimillion-dollar hospital system would not. As previously reported, the outside of Rivington House – future home of Mount Sinai’s future Behavioral Health facility – essentially devolved into decrepitude with the accumulation of trash at the doorstep. Untouched for days on end. But one Lower East Sider took matters […]

Chillhouse Shutters Original Essex Street Spa

The list of coronavirus-related business closures is getting longer by the week. Today brings word that an Essex Street newcomer has bitten the dust. Chillhouse, a millennials-style spa at 149 Essex Street, is the latest to fall. Ownership announced the permanent shutter in an e-mail to customers Tuesday afternoon. “As we all know too well […]

Hamilton Fish Park Pool to Reopen by August 1

In an about-face, the city announced yesterday that at least fifteen public pools will reopen across the Five Boroughs. Included in the lucky list is the Hamilton Fish Park pool, known to locals as the “Pitt Pool.” But the cooldown will have to wait another month. The reopenings are scheduled for August 1, and are […]

Cocoa Bar Closes its Clinton Street Cafe

Cocoa Bar closed its doors for the last time during the coronavirus shutdown. The Lower East Side offshoot of the Brooklyn original is now another statistic for businesses lost during the pandemic. The casual cafe and wine bar – heavy on the chocolate – spent thirteen years serving from its perch at 21 Clinton Street. Tombstone […]