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St. Marks Squatters Getting the Boot

The Times had a big story in their Real Estate section last weekend about building owners filing for demolition to chase out stingy tenants, and it appears there's a notable case of that going on right now?albeit dealing with squatters, and not rent-stabilized folk. Polis reports that the future owner of 120 St. Marks Place, Benjamin Shaoul, is kicking out the longtime inhabitants, including the East Village's famed "Mosaic Man." And lest you think that landlords are afraid to do the dirty work themselves, have a gander at this:

All the above information is according to Craig Lopez, who owns Accidental CDs, and has been living and working in the building for the past four months as well. He said four regular squatters and others who come and go were all harassed out of the building, and that he personally was threatened by guys wielding sledge hammers. Lopez eventually worked out a deal with Mr. Shaoul, who apparently doesn't own the building yet, but has an option to buy it from Jim Crowley, who inherited the rundown building but did nothing to fix it up, and looked the other way while squatters came and went. Rachel Allen, who also lives in a third floor apartment in 120 St. Marks, said Benjamin Shaoul himself kicked down her apartment door and verbally abused her.Yikes, this looks like a messy situation. Accidental CDs fans will note that the shop just moved from its longtime Avenue A headquarters (seen above, in happier times) to the St. Marks location about five months ago (Villager story here), and now they'll be forced to move again.
· Mosaic Man and Other E.Vil. Squatters Evicted [Polis]