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NEW YORK (AP) — The hammering and drilling began just months after Jared Kushner’s family real estate firm bought a converted warehouse apartment building in the hip, Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.
Tenants say it started early in the morning and went on until nightfall, so loud that it drowned out normal conversation, so violent it rattled pictures off the walls. So much dust wafted through ducts and under doorways that it coated beds and clothes in closets. Rats crawled through holes in the walls. Workers with passkeys barged in unannounced. Residents who begged for relief got a standard reply, “We have permits.”
The article goes on to state the following:
More than a dozen current and former residents of the building told The Associated Press that they believe the Kushner Cos.’ relentless construction, along with rent hikes of $500 a month or more, was part of a campaign to push tenants out of rent-stabilized apartments and bring high-paying condo buyers in.
If so, it was a remarkably successful campaign. An AP investigation found that over the past three years, more than 250 rent-stabilized apartments — 75 percent of the building — were either emptied or sold as the Kushner Cos. was converting the building to luxury condos. Those sales so far have totaled more than $155 million, an average of $1.2 million per apartment.
“They won, they succeeded,” says Barth Bazyluk, who left apartment C606 with his wife and baby daughter in December. “You have to be ignorant or dumb to think this wasn’t deliberate.”
CLICK HERE to read more on this story by the Associated Press, which also stated:
The Kushner Cos. told the AP that it didn’t harass any tenants to get them out. But the data suggest turnover at the building known as the Austin Nichols House was significantly higher than city averages for coveted rent-stabilized buildings, leaving behind a trail of anger, disrupted lives and a $10 million lawsuit filed late Sunday in which 20 tenants say they were harassed and exposed to high levels of cancer-causing dust.
On Monday, a New York state agency announced it was launching an investigation into whether Kushner Cos. violated state housing laws and regulations meant to prevent landlords from disturbing tenants’ peace and privacy.
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