Former Beth Israel Karpas Center will be demolished

311 First Avenue was included in last year’s sale of Gilman Hall to the CIM Group. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

The building that used to house Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s Karpas Health Information Center has been sold and will soon be demolished.

The new owner filed an application to demolish the four-story property at 311 First Avenue and 18th Street, last October, and scaffolding now surrounds the property. There is not yet an application for new development although the razing of the building, which also has nine residential units, was said to be in preparation for an unspecified “plan.”

CIM Group, a Los Angeles-based real estate investment group and private equity firm, through an LLC called 305 First Avenue (NY), bought the property last March for $27.5 million from Mount Sinai, according to Acris records.

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Former Gramercy police precinct to be auctioned off

June30 21st Precinct

327 East 22nd Street, originally home to the 21st Precinct (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Two years ago, a Gramercy building that was once home to the NYPD’s 21st Precinct was sold to developer Sam Suzuki, who planned to convert the building to luxury condos.

However, the building, located at 327 East 22nd Street, is now scheduled to be sold at a public auction on Thursday, June 30 at 11 a.m. The upcoming sale, which was mentioned in a public notice in the New York Times, will take place at the New York County Courthouse and is being facilitated by Mission Capital Advisors. In the notice, the property is referred to as “SCPD Gramercy 1 LLC.”

In April, 2014, Suzuki bought the four-story building between First and Second Avenues for $11.5 million, securing an $18 million mortgage. As a condition of the sale, Suzuki also got 7,000 square feet of air rights. In February of 2015 the owner got a permit to demolish the property. However, today it still sits — at least the outside of it — boarded up and covered by a scaffolding. The permit to fully demolish the building expired this February, and the owner hasn’t since filed for a new one.

Prior to this, the building was used as a home for LGBT young people, and run by Green Chimneys, a nonprofit based in Brewster, New York, that owned the building.

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Hoylman takes aim at building demolitions as tool to oust tenants

State Senator Brad Hoylman

State Senator Brad Hoylman

By Sabina Mollot

Under current law, landlords can oust tenants from a building by claiming they’re going to be demolishing it.

However, the owner wouldn’t necessarily face any penalties if that demolition never ended up happening, and State Senator Brad Hoylman has said he is looking into changing this.

The topic of ousting tenants, particularly lower rent paying ones under this scheme was recently covered in an article in The Real Deal. The article focused on a talk given by landlord attorney Michelle Maratto Itkowitz in which she discussed the practice, saying that as far as she knew, building owners have not faced penalties for not making good on a demolition plan following the evictions. That said, she warned an owner might be sued “by a nasty person with a grudge,” yet also stressed that landlords who try to harass tenants out of their homes were looking for trouble, like the recently arrested Steven Croman.

After seeing the article, Hoylman, told Town & Village he was “researching the issue” and noted that in his district, on the East Side as well as the West Side, he’d seen demolitions and questioned their legality due to their having been done “without appropriate permits.”

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