What can we learn from the horrible situation at Rector Square, the Battery Park City building that has emerged from a pack of contenders as the city's biggest botched condo conversion? The lesson is clear: Don't mistake silence for progress. The Downtown Express checks in with the foreclosed building's court-appointed receiver, who lets us know that just because Rector Square hasn't bubbled up into the news recently, that doesn't mean conditions have improved. In fact, things are far worse for the remaining renters and 70 buyers than initially thought. Some lowlights:
The taxes. Oh lord, the taxes: "Cooper Square Realty was supposed to put condo owners’ property tax payments into an earmarked fund, but instead all the money disappeared into the building's operating fund, Miller said. That operating fund is now dry, without a cent of the property tax money going to the city, Miller said."
About that renovation...: "The manager will begin by assessing the status of the incomplete renovation, then decide what has to be redone because previous contractors did it incorrectly, Miller said. 'It would be much easier to take a building and then renovate it than to start at the stage that we're in,' Miller said."
Now ruining lives not yet created: "Miller received an e-mail from a couple who put down a $55,000 deposit on a condo in the building over a year ago but have not been able to move in. They are renting an apartment in the building in the meantime but are tired of waiting. They told Miller that Levy's lawyer refused to return their deposit. 'They had planned to have children, but without a real home, they can't,' Miller said."
Hide all sharp objects: "Rapetskaya, who closed on a studio last August, said her attitude toward the future 'depends on what day you catch me.'"
· Piles of paperwork and repair problems at 225 Rector Pl. [Downtown Express]
· Rector Square coverage [Curbed]