When Harry Macklowe bought 737 Park Avenue with the intention of converting the 20-story rental building to luxury condos, he inherited a host of rent-stabilized tenants. Now, in order to oust the tenants of a prime 17th-floor unit, Macklowe is doing what he does best: suing people.
The Post reports that the apartment is occupied by three siblings—Laura Goldblatt, Seth Katz, and Tracy Edwards—whose grandfather L. Katz bought 737 Park in 1941 and subsequently offered members of his family apartments in the building. In this case, the three siblings rent the 17th-floor three-bedroom apartment for just $244.37/month. The tenants reportedly rejected Macklowe's buyout offer back when he bought 737 Park in 2011, and ever since, he has attempted to get the apartment vacated.
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The suit claims that the three siblings do not even live in New York and have been "illegally profiteering" by subletting the apartment for $10,000/month. He also says that the apartment was listed as rent-stabilized in Katz's records, and a markup thus violates New York housing laws and that the previous deal is unenforceable.
"The tenant should not be allowed to rent out the apartment at a profit relative to his or her own rent, and thus use the apartment instead as a money-making machine," said Macklowe in the suit.
However, the siblings claim that they made a deal with Macklowe that would allow them use of the apartment—including subletting it—until their two surviving aunts (who also live in the building) die.
The case will be decided at trial.
· Billionaire developer wages war over $244-a-month pad [NYP]
· Harry Macklowe seeks to oust $244.37-a-month renters [TRD]
· All 737 Park Avenue coverage [Curbed]