Windermere West End tenant Harold Hirsch is suing the building's owner, Laurence Gluck of Stellar Management, along with its investors, for $5 billion. Hey, why not? While the number might seem a tad high, Hirsch's claims of being subjected to lead paint, asbestos, toxic mold, and collapsing ceilings during a building renovation sound plausible, considering that Gluck is notorious for buying rent-stabilized buildings and trying to force out the long-time tenants (of which Hirsch, who has resided in the building for 31 years and pays $574/month for his studio apartment, is one). This practice has resulted in lawsuits before, at Tribeca's Independence Plaza North, and the rent-stabilized tenants in the Upper East Side's Yorkville Towers, which Gluck recently purchased, are also on edge.
In addition to the construction issues, Gluck has segregated the buildings amenities, shutting out rent-stabilized tenants, and has been accused of harassing the building's staff in an effort to replace it with non-unionized workers. "$5 billion is a lowball," the 64-year-old Hirsch, who suffers from paralysis as a result of a car accident, told the Post. "I'm expecting the jury to flip this to $20 to 25 billion before we're done."
· Disabled tenant sues landlord for $5B over 'violations' [NYP]
· Windermere West End coverage [Curbed]
· Stellar Management coverage [Curbed]