85 Bowery Tenants and Landlord Officially Reach Agreement on Renovations and Return Date

Posted on: July 9th, 2018 at 5:02 am by

Six months after the well-publicized eviction, the saga of 85 Bowery is slowly drawing to a close. Both sides last week announced the settlement of litigation and agreement on a return date for displaced tenants. Timetable is sometime “by August 31,” when renovation work is anticipated to conclude.

“This agreement represents a positive outcome for the families of 83-85 Bowery, the building owners and the Chinatown community,” reads a joint statement from the 83-85 Bowery Tenants Association and landlord Joseph Betesh. “Necessary building repairs to address problems are scheduled to be completed by August 31. As has been our shared goal from the beginning of this process, 85 Bowery will now be a safe, affordable, quality building for generations to come.”

The statement continues, “With all permits in place, work is well underway so that the tenants will be able to return to their homes. The tenants and the owner look forward to putting this unfortunate situation behind them and are glad that they were able to reach an agreement.”

Vacate order at 85 Bowery, January 2018

More than seventy-five residents were evacuated from the sixteen-unit 85 Bowery back in January, stemming from a years-running dispute with the landlord. The after-hours inspection was the result of a State Supreme Court order in the lawsuit, and yielded several safety violations, most notably unstable staircase and fire escapes. (However, tenants had all along accused Betesh of letting the property fall into disrepair as justification for eviction.) Throughout this period in exile, the displaced remained worried about their return. Advocates mounted a media-savvy campaign (e.g. rallies and hunger strikes) to apply pressure for a definitive return date.

Until the August homecoming, most will reportedly remain lodged, on Betesh’s dime, at the Wyndham Garden Hotel just up the block.

Meanwhile, advocate Shirley Ng held a fundraiser back in February and collected $2,390 to help those tenants in need.

Recent Stories

Luxury Accessories Brand ‘Title of Work’ Opens Flagship on Orchard Street

The eponymous Site 57 gallery spent two years in the ground floor of 57 Orchard Street before folding not long ago. It’s been replaced. A new fashion boutique just opened behind that corrugated metal awning. Title of Work is the name of the newcomer, which specializes in men’s formal accessories that “skillfully merges art, science, […]

New Target at Essex Crossing is Plagued by Thefts

For shoplifters, the bullseye on the facade of 400 Grand Street is an invitation. Indeed, the small-format iteration of Target at Essex Crossing has become just that in the short month since it opened. According to police sources at the 7th Precinct, there have been 42 reported thefts inside the second-floor retailer since the August […]

Chinatown Locals ‘Erase the Hate’ of Insensitive Gate Murals

One Los Angeles-based street artist angered residents in Chinatown for racially-insensitive caricatures across the neighborhood this weekend. Someone with the tag name Sickid1 imparted the controversial images on at least three store gates over the weekend – 34 Mott, 81 Allen, and 38 Allen Street. Outspoken Chinatown activist Karlin Chan took it upon himself to […]

Another Malaysian Cafe Replaces the Old ‘Kopitiam’ HQ on Canal Street

The Perfect Taste is now on Canal Street. Literally. A new Malaysian cafe by that name opened yesterday in the original home of Kopitiam. The tiny shop takes over after the latter moved from 51 Canal to East Broadway several months ago (thanks to a rent hike). As the awning suggests, Perfect Taste features “healthy […]

CNBC’s ‘American Greed’ Focuses on Ex-Con Landlord Steve Croman

Ex-con Steve Croman is now the subject of a television hit piece by CNBC as part of its American Greed series. The second half of the program is dedicated to the notorious landlord in a segment appropriately called “Lousy Landlord.” You’ll recall that Croman completed his “white collar” sentence on June 1, having served eight months […]