The rent-controlled loft dwellers in Tin Pan Alley have had reason to be nervous for quite a while now. They narrowly avoided having their buildings sold in 2008 when the market crashed but those buildings were put back on the market this April, with the listing suggesting that they would be a good spot for a hotel or condo conversion. Now, if the rumors are to be believed, the news could not be worse for the tenants, as a tipster has informed Lost City that the new owner of Tin Pan Alley is Yair Levy, a man that the New York State Attorney General once called a "predator." That quote came while Levy was being banned from "engaging in any business activity relating to the advertisement, offer or sale of securities—which includes condominium and co-operative apartments—in or from the state of New York." But not, apparently, from buying buildings. And then doing ... something ... with them (Lost City's tipster says condos), probably through his wife and daughter.
Lost City's tipster says that Levy has already approached one tenant "offering to help them find a nice apartment in an elevator building," and another tipster tells us that Levy has approached the Flower Market stores and offered to kick them out. Presumably no elevators buildings were involved in the latter offer. According to our tipster, the deal was for just over $20 million, around half of what the buildings were asking in 2008.
The tenants never really had a shot, long-term, of holding onto their apartments. The best they could hope for was a reasonable buyer who was willing to be straight up with them and possibly give them each a million dollars. Instead they're getting the guy who embezzled his last development's reserve fund and pummeled Kent Swig with an ice bucket. This isn't going to be good.
[EDIT: If you look closely at that image, taken from Google Street View (or just go to Street View yourself for a bigger image), there's a guy giving the Google van the finger. Seems appropriate. Not that any of this is Google's fault, but, you know.]
· More Tin Pan Alley Woes [Lost City]
· Yair Levy coverage [Curbed]
· Tin Pan Alley coverage [Curbed]