Discovery of Asbestos at 85 Bowery Delays Return of Displaced Tenants

Posted on: March 21st, 2018 at 5:00 am by

The discovery of asbestos during rehabilitation efforts at 85 Bowery has thrown a wrench in the timeline of return for exiled tenants.

Roughly one hundred tenants (mostly low-income) remain homeless, now two months after the city ordered their eviction. This is all part of the latest chapter in a nasty dispute with controversial landlord Joseph Betesh (aka retail magnate behind Dr. Jay’s).

Construction is not fully complete, and the aforementioned discovery of the asbestos carcinogen only makes matters worse. (The vacate is partially lifted, though, as the stair is replaced.) Basically, all repair work must now cease in order to detremine the extent of the substance and its subsequent abatement. But before said abatement can begin, the Department of Environmental Protection must inspect, which could take an additional two weeks.

Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou – continually on the front lines advocating for the displaced – sent a letter to the collective alphabet soup of city agencies imploring commissioners to execute a DEP inspection of the asbestos. And to also “explain, in a language [tenants] understand the discovery of asbestos in their homes and potential effects.”

Behind the scenes, meanwhile, we’re told that Betesh has been in discussions with the affected tenants about the status of their rent stabilization. Advocates see this as a big step forward, and point to the success of the hunger strike last month in bringing about an open dialog.

Below is the letter:

Letter to City Agencies Regarding 85 Bowery by BoweryBoogie on Scribd

Recent Stories

Report: Tenant Files Lawsuit Over Alleged Roach Infestation at 261 Broome Street

A new tenant at 261 Broome Street filed a lawsuit against the landlord, claiming that an alleged roach infestation forced her to leave after only four days on-premise back in June. The complaint, filed this week in Manhattan Supreme Court by Julia Perry, alleges that the infestation was so severe that the critters even found […]

‘Douzo’ Sushi Opens on Delancey Street

Two years after the closure of Berkli Parc, the southwest corner of Allen and Delancey Streets is finally active again. The plywood shed was recently removed to reveal terra-cotta marquee and identity of the next tenant – Douzo. For the new venture, Sushisamba veteran Koji Kagawa teamed up with Chatchai Huadwattana of the Chace Restaurant […]

‘The Modern Chemist’ Chain Opens LES Outpost at East Houston and Orchard

Trendy local chain, The Modern Chemist, now has a presence on the Lower East Side. The company just debuted this new outpost in the other half of what was once American Apparel at East Houston and Orchard Streets. A sandwich board out front advertises the new opening. The Modern Chemist, which counts three other locations […]

Thirsty Customer Robs 7-Eleven on Delancey Street

A customer of the Delancey Street 7-Eleven robbed the store after not having enough cash for beer, police said. Early yesterday morning, a thirsty crook came up to the counter to pay for a few beers, then stole them anyway. He only had $5 and refused to pay for the other groceries. The suspect then […]

Two Buildings at Rivington and Suffolk Hit the Market for $12M

A pair of Lower East Side tenements in the orbit of Essex Crossing is now in the proverbial crosshairs. Both are on the market for a collective $12 million. The two properties are located around the corner from each other at Rivington and Suffolk Streets, and combine for 17,684 square-feet of floor area. The four-story […]