A tipster sent in the series of photos above, showing a Driggs Avenue building "where both of the ground floor duplexes have remained empty for at least a year now with the yard all overgrown." Any paranormal real estate expert will tell you: once a neighborhood is haunted with a few ghost condos they can stick around for what seems like an eternity. And Williamsburg and Greenpoint contracted a bad case of ghost condos about five years ago. We believe that this is the Scarano-designed Loftology building, which was in construction for more than four years before buyers began to move into its units, according to a 2008 article in the Observer. Now these ground floor apartments are still sitting around, becoming choked with weeds and filling with garbage bags of what we really hope aren't of an American Psycho-like nature.
If it takes four years to construct your building, any wasted time in getting it filled with people can seem unbearably painful, so some developers started renting out unsold units. This caused some friction with condo owners at Loftology, who viewed their equity-free neighbors with a mixture of caution and disdain. Renters can be younger, and disrespectful, and careless with buildings in a way one can be with only a security deposit to lose.
The only thing worse than a rental neighbor, however, could be an illegal conversion of an apartment to a hotel. That's what may have happened at Loftology's unit #1B. A neighbor complained to the City that the owner of #1B was renting out the unit as a hotel room and that they converted the place with four bunks in 2 bedrooms. This complaint was forwarded to the Mayor's office for special enforcement, because if there's one thing that Mayor Bloomberg hates (and we know there's a lot more than one thing) it's illegal hotel rooms.
Any neighbors or Loftology residents have any further information on what's happening with these decrepit-looking ground floor units? Drop us a note at Curbed Tips!
· The Ghosts of McCarren Park [NYO]
· Renters in New Condos: Valued Neighbors or Party Monsters [Curbed]
· Busting Illegal Hotels [Curbed]