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Arts and Entertainment

Brooklyn Heights Cinema Owner: We’re Not Moving Until We Have To

April 7, 2014

The New York Daily News covers the Brooklyn Heights Cinema’s successful Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for digital projection. Owner Kenn Lowy addresses the question on everyone’s mind – will the theater have to move soon as its landlord is looking to sell (for $7.5 million) or lease (for $30K/month) the building.

NYDN: The theater has operated under a month-to-month agreement ever since the lease expired nearly two years ago, and the cost of moving the digital equipment would be “manageable.”
Not that he’s eager to go anywhere else.

“The location is so good,” Lowy said. “I’m not leaving until I have to.”

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, Real Estate

Rent-Stabilized Residents At 85 Livingston Fuming Over Rent Hike

May 29, 2012

Residents of 85 Livingston Street at the Brooklyn Heights/Downtown Brooklyn border are battling a $60 to $90 a month rent hike for 30 or so rent-stabilized units in the coop building, saying it will “devastate” the mostly elderly folks living in those apartments. While the majority of the building was converted to coops in 1989, developer Mark Teitelbaum—who owns the rental units—insists that improvements to the building warrant the increase.

The New York Daily News reported Tuesday May 29 that Teitelbaum insists the hike is justified because he financed work to caulk and waterproof bricks on the building’s facade that co-op owners in the building decided to do.

The issue in question: Those renovations began in 2004, while Teitelbaum filed with the state Department of Housing and Community Renewal for the rent increase two years after the work was finished. Initially, his application was denied, but he appealed and the agency reversed its decision. On Thursday, DHCR issued an order upholding the rent increase, saying work on the building continued long enough that the application met the deadline.

In addition to the monthly increase of $60-$90 a month, Teitelbaum is demanding $2,500 in retroactive rent from each tenant. He originally owned 75 rental apartments in the building, and has sold them at market value as tenants moved out. Note: The Daily News story evades what seems to be an important detail: What the current monthly rent is for any of those 23-year stabilized units.

Residents insist the DHCR decree to increase rent isn’t valid, since Teitelbaum didn’t file for the hike until 2008. They also claim it will displace the elderly, including 94-year-old Margaret Cafiero, who has lived at 85 Livingston Street for 30+ years: “It’s putting a burden on people to raise the rent so much at one time,” she told the Daily News. “It’s like fighting City Hall; you never win.”

However, Deputy Commissioner Woody Pascal wrote about the Thursday decision, “At their core, the tenants’ primary objections are based on the impact of the increase rather than its supporting factual basis. DHCR must administer the increase in accordance with law.”

Zaida Concepcion, 62, another resident who has lived in the building 35 years, said, “He wants us out. He wants the apartments. He’s licking his chops, waiting for them.”

City Councilman Steve Levin (D-Brooklyn Heights), is siding with residents: “Almost every one of the renters are senior citizens, and many on fixed incomes. If these rent increases go through, some of these seniors may be out on the street.”

Read the Daily News story here.

(Photo: New York Daily News)

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Health, News

Cruise Ship Air Pollution Response Stalled

April 4, 2012

A year ago, Mayor Bloomberg announced a deal to eliminate air pollution resulting from cruise ships having to run their diesel generators to supply power while docked at the Red Hook terminal. Under the agreement, the parties involved: the Port Authority, the suppliers and distributors of electricity, and the cruise line, would share the cost of installing and maintaining equipment allowing ships to take power from shoreside. Now, it appears, that deal has collapsed, and local residents will have to continue to breathe fumes from the ships’ generators.

New York Daily News Cruise ships docked in Brooklyn continue to choke Red Hook with their fumes — despite a widely touted deal a year ago that was supposed to solve the problem.

The Port Authority approved $15 million to build a system allowing ships to plug into an electric grid — but costs have shot up another $4.3 million and the agency hasn’t shelled out the extra money, according to local elected officials.

The Daily News story quotes Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez and other local elected officials as noting that “[a]sthma rates among Red Hook youth are high”. Red Hook resident Adam Armstrong, author of the blog A View from the Hook, accuses the Port Authority of “twiddling their thumbs.” A Port Authority spokesman says the agency is “evaluating options”.

Source: Cobble Hill Blog

From the Web