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Controversial Third Street Buildings Sold?

Sue PalhakSarah Darville Sue Palchak-Essenpriess in her apartment.

Sue Palchak-Essenpriess caught a break in Housing Court last week.

The resident of 50 East Third Street, who along with her husband organized fellow tenants against the landlord who refused to renew their leases, defiantly stayed two months past the expiration date of her lease. That caused her landlord, Abart Holdings, to file suit for $2,400 on top of the rent she had paid for the two extra months, as well as for legal fees. On Friday, those demands were dropped, Ms. Palchak-Essenpriess said, and the parties settled for the amount of their security deposit and a month’s rent.

Now Ms. Palchak-Essenpriess is packing up and preparing to move to a new apartment in Washington Heights. “If you were to think of the stress arc, I guess this is the peak of it. The uncertainty is over, but now the devastation of the change is settling in,” she said.

Actually, there’s still one bit of uncertainty: Who owns 50-58 East Third Street? Read more…

After Vow to Stay and Fight, a Move to Washington Heights

Sue PalhakSarah Darville Sue Palchak-Essenpreis

When Council Member Rosie Mendez joined the residents of three buildings on Third Street last month to protest the non-renewal of their leases, Sue Palchak-Essenpreis vowed to stay put past the end of her lease on May 14. And she did just that: her one-bedroom apartment is still jam-packed with bookshelves, and plants are perched on almost every windowsill. But last night, she signed a new lease for an apartment in Washington Heights. On July 4, she’ll move out of her third-floor apartment at 50 East Third Street. But first, she has an appointment downtown.

On Friday, she and her husband Greg Essenpreis will appear in Housing Court in hopes that a judge will keep them from having to pay the legal fees of their landlord, Abe Haruvi. That would mark the end of the high-profile protest against the owner of 50, 54, and 58 East Third Street, who did not renew the leases of some 17 tenants whose contracts with his company, Abart Holdings, were running out this summer. After a few months of outcry, most of the buildings’ residents are now moving on.

Since Ms. Palchak-Essenpreis began organizing tenants, she said, there has been more fleeing than fighting. “There has been a different moving truck in front of the building almost every day for the last two weeks,” she admitted. “After I sent off the e-mail – ‘We’re going to court!’ – it was like a cartoon: everyone ran off.” Read more…

Tenants Being Booted from Third Street Buildings Prepare to Dig In

tenantsLaura Edwins

Less than a year ago, David Moster, a Ph.D. candidate at N.Y.U., paid a $5,625 broker fee to move into his apartment at 50 East Third Street. “It was a huge hassle moving last summer,” he recalled. Now he’s getting ready to deal with the headache again. Earlier this month, his landlord, Abart Holdings, sent him a letter informing that the building would be sold within a few months and that his lease would not be renewed.

Mr. Moster and his two roommates, who pay $3,000 per month for their three-bedroom unit, are among an estimated 17 residents of the building and of two neighboring ones at 54 and 58 East Third Street who were given 60 days to find a new place to live. Yesterday, many of those tenants met to discuss their options. Read more…