Seen & Heard: Setback in Rent-Stabilization Lawsuit

••• This dog was found at Franklin and W. Broadway yesterday morning, according to the 1st Precinct.

••• Update from an attendee of last night’s Community  Board 1 Licensing & Permits Committee: Hogsalt was coy about the name of its restaurant at Walker and Cortlandt Alley (the company submitted a menu from Au Cheval in Chicago); Il Mulino said the dba name of its restaurant coming to the Tablao space on Greenwich is Il Mulino (still not sure if it’s a new branch or the W. Third St. location is moving); and Vin Sur Vingt didn’t show for the 66 W. Broadway application.

••• Daniel Buren is having some fun with its skylight at Bortolami Gallery, where his show opens tomorrow. The storefront columns are being painted, too. (The reader who sent this also included a link to a page about a Buren exhibit in Soho in 1973, with a few cool old photos.)

••• Bad news regarding the tenants’ lawsuit accusing landlords of not offering the rent stabilization promised in exchange for tax abatement. From the attorney:

I write to report that Justice Hagler issued a decision in the 85 John Street matter, and ruled against the tenants, finding that their apartment was not subject to rent stabilization despite the landlord’s receipt of tax abatements under the 421-G program.  See attached. The Decision/Order has not yet been entered by the Clerk of the Court, and is therefore not official. It will likely be entered in the next few days.

As you will note, Justice Hagler found that presented with two conflicting Housing Court decisions, he needed to examine legislative history to interpret “the plain meaning of this [421-g] statute,” and went on to rely on the Giuliani letter to Bruno. Justice Hagler also found that the main purpose of the 421-g program was to simulate economic development, and not to establish rent regulation for apartment in buildings in Lower Manhattan receiving 421-G benefits.

We believe that Justice Hagler’s decision is flawed and incorrectly decided. Among other things, Justice Hagler erred in relying on the Giuliani letter, and permitting the landlord to enjoy tax benefits without anything in return. The tenants at 85 John Street and I are extremely disappointed, but intend to vigorously pursue all options available to them, including an appeal.

••• S. spotted a bunch of vintage motorbikes on Reade for a Rémy Martin shoot.

••• Citibabes has signage up for its new school on Duane.



  1. “But landlords have had a favorable 1997 opinion from DHCR [the State agency having authority over rent stabilization] at their disposal, too (which was also partly justified by Giuliani’s letter). These arguments were strong enough to win landlord UDR Inc. a favorable decision in a similar case last year and now it appears it’s enough for Kibel Companies.”

    • One can read here the PDF that appears to be the opinion letter referenced:

  2. The Vintage Bikes were outside of Marc Forgione. Chef Marc is working with Rémy Martin –
    I think the cocktail of the day was a Sidecar ;)

    • The bikes weren’t there for a shoot, they were there for a promotion that included ridiculously amplified dance music for about 3 hours last night (and of course all the french doors were open so the we all could “enjoy” the Remy Martin DJ programming the musical atmosphere inside our apartments, even though the windows were closed). The only saving grace was that it was over by 9PM, unlike the private party at the restaurant 2 weeks ago that went past midnight with a similar sharing (although a much wider range) of musical tastes.

      How do look up the liquor license requirements regarding times the windows are allowed to be open / acceptability of amplified music, etc for Marc Forgione? I want lively places in the neighborhood, but I also want some peace in my home, which is 1/2 block away and around the corner, so the amps were clearly set too high.

      • You should ask CB1 about any stipulations for the liquor license. In my experience that’s easier than trying to figure it out via the SLA. And of course if noise is too loud, you should file a complaint with 311 during the event.

        • Thanks. Yes, I used the 311 app to file a noise complaint. It was closed 11:28 PM with the notation “The Police Department responded to the complaint and took action to fix the condition.” If course that was 2 1/2 hours after the party wrapped up!

          • I saw the police at MF around 9:00, so they did respond.

          • Next time consider writing down the complaint number 311 gives you, calling the 1st Precinct, and make another complaint directly to them and read them the 311 complaint number.

          • Forward all of your 311 complaint #s to CB1. They take them into consideration when a liquor license is up for renewal.
            Though, I do not know what the terms are for MF, most establishments are required to close their windows at 9 PM.

  3. Has the owner been found for the dog??

    • Do you have any updates about the dog?

      • I just spoke with the first precinct. They still have the dog. They gave him a bath and said he is very sweet and friendly. They have not had anyone come forward yet. If someone knows the dog and/or his owner, you should call the 1precinct at 212-334-0611. Hit “0” for the switchboard.

        They are keeping him there for now, and someone is helping care for him. The are really hoping to find his owner. But he might have to go to ASPCA if the owner is not found soon.

        • Did they say if they had checked to see if the dog was microchipped? I’m sure any local vets would be happy to scan to try to locate the owner.

          • Unfortunately, the dog was not chipped. The officers at the local precinct have named him Franklin (for now). They seem to really care about him, and someone has been taking him home every night. They said his hair was very matted when they found him, and they gave him a bath. I offered to give him a home (or at least foster him) if they can’t find the owner, but I sense that there might be interest among the officers in adopting him if the owner does not come forward. I am hopeful they will not send him up to a kennel/shelter.

        • would be a better choice if owner does not come forward.