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Chelsea Building Eyed For Megamansion Conversion Stymied By Existing Tenant

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The architect only found out about the tenant at a community board meeting

Plans to convert a vacant apartment building in Chelsea’s historic district into a megamansion have come face to face with a major stumbling block—an existing tenant. Architect William Suk, of Suk Designs was presenting his plans for the conversion at a recent community board meeting, when the existing tenant in the building voiced his concern and opposition to the project (obviously), to everyone’s surprise, DNAinfo reports.

Property records show that the rental building was purchased in early 2014 by Ceres Realty Capital for $3.95 million. But it was only recently that the last remaining tenant in the building, a documentary filmmaker, found out that the building was going to be converted into a single family home.

It appears that plans for conversion are currently moving through the public review process with the first stop being the local community board. No plans however have been submitted to the Department of Buildings so far, records reveal.

Tenants slowly began to move out after the building was purchased, and the last tenant apart from the filmmaker moved out in June of last year. The existing tenant had been previously offered a buyout as well, but he declined. The DOB received a couple of complaints about work taking place at the building without permits, but visits by inspectors did not corroborate those concerns.

The existing tenant, Jonathan, told DNAinfo that he had been harassed by the new management company for the building since they took over in 2011, despite him paying his rent on time. Since no one on behalf of the new owner nor the architect have contacted him, Jonathan told DNAinfo that he’s going to continue staying at the building and paying rent until he hears otherwise.