In the News: Lawsuit Over Desbrosses Building Damaged by Sandy

••• The tenants of rent-stabilized 31 Desbrosses—damaged by Sandy (and still deemed uninhabitable by the Department of Buildings)—are suing owner Ponte Equities because Ponte “says it will cost more to fix the building than it is worth. […] The lawyer representing the tenants, said that an appraiser found the value of the building to be $3 million based on comparable sales. Court documents filed on behalf of Ponte Equities cite a 2009 city valuation of $324,000.” (The building was in bad shape even before the storm.) Of major interest is this: “In housing court two weeks ago, Ponte Equities’ lawyer, Joseph Burden, strongly hinted there might be development plans for the block on which 31 Desbrosses stands, repeatedly asking an engineer whether the building was sturdy enough to withstand new construction on lots immediately adjacent, lots that Ponte Equities owns.” There’s a recap of Ponte’s history, if you’ve never read it. —The New York Times

••• This is bananas: A Swahili-speaking gang stole cell phones from a mother and son playing basketball at West Thames Park. —Broadsheet

••• Aloha Rag, having closed abruptly this weekend, is said to be opening on the Bowery. —Racked

••• Forgotten New York visits Staple Street. (Photo courtesy Forgotten NY.)

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  1. It would be a shame to see this building torn down.

  2. The last Ponte development in North TriBeCa (Truffles) is certainly not reflective of the architecture of the neighborhood. Just hoping if a new development goes in, the aesthetic of the building and the size of the building are considered.