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Create an East Village Dream House by Evicting Blind Local Legend

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Today's Times offers a peek into the other side of a scenario we've seen often: the multi-family building that a buyer could "potentially convert into a single-family town house." These conversion opportunities are usually delivered vacant, but how do they get that way? Apparently, by evicting a 75-year-old blind man who had no idea the building was for sale. Or so it is at 285 East 3rd Street, a four-unit building now on the market for $2.995 million. Tenant Steve Cannon, who purchased the building for $35,000 in 1970 and sold it to its current owner in 2004, holds his Gathering of the Tribes gallery/salon in the building. His lease with the building owner allowed him to pay $1,000/month for the second floor through 2009, with a five-year renewal option at $2,200/month. Since he's sent in rent checks since the first part of the lease expired, he believes his lease has been renewed. The landlord disagrees, and so might a buyer with mansion aspirations, but they'll have to face a whole lot of angry poets.
· A Place Where Emotions Become Poetry Is for Sale [NYT]