After the Stuy Town decision was announced, the tenants of Chelsea's London Terrace Gardens tried to get in on the rent-re-regulation game with a lawsuit against their landlord. Their argument was that, as at Stuy Town, the building owners raised rents while receiving J-51 renovation tax breaks. The landlord was understandably displeased?and, it turns out, would prefer not to be part of the J-51 program at all if it's going to mean tenants now asking for rent reductions. Fancy that! The Chelsea apartment complex is petitioning the city and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to rescind London Terrace's J-51 participation retroactively. In return, London Terrace will give back its J-51 benefits. Why does London Terrace think it can duck out of J-51? Because, according to the legal petition passed along by a tipster, the complex wouldn't have applied for the J-51 program at all had it known how things would go down with Stuy Town.
London Terrace argues:
London Terrace applied for and agreed to participate in the J-51 program beginning in 2003 under the mistaken belief?shared by the City, HPD and DHCR?that DHCR regulations in effect since 2000 had the force of law, and that London Terrace would be permitted to continue applying luxury decontrol in accordance with those regulations. London Terrace would not have participated in the J-51 program if...London Terrace would have been precluded from applying luxury decontrol. Indeed, participating in the J-51 program in such circumstances would have been economically irrational...because increased rental income resulting from luxury decontrol was far greater than London Terrace's J-51 tax benefit. Any bets on whether a judge will buy this one?
· London Terrace Gardens Enters Stuy Town Look Alike Contest [Curbed]