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Mosaic Man Avoids Eviction, Agrees to Pay Back Rent

photo(330)Melvin Felix The Mosaic Man’s cane and service
dog, in court today.

After being thrown out of his studio in the basement of Barbiere, Jim Power avoided eviction from his apartment at The Lee today. Mr. Power, known for creating the neighborhood’s mosaic trail and outfitting local businesses like Porchetta and The Bean, agreed to pay $547.29 in outstanding rent by the end of September, staving off a return to homelessness.

In July, the low-income residence brought a lawsuit demanding $806.66 in back rent and requesting a final judgment of eviction. The Mosaic Man said he had stopped paying the monthly dues for his rent-stabilized apartment in order to protest a slew of problems at 133 Pitt Street. This week, he told The Local, he found a pool of blood in a building elevator.

“It’s shocking,” Mr. Power said. “They need to put a security guard in there with a gun.” (The Local has left a message with a spokesperson for Common Ground requesting comment.) Read more…

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…

Air-Conditioned Nightmare Continues, Deli’s Neighbors Say

IMG_1771Sarah Darville Tommy McKean in the air shaft of his building.

This feud over an air conditioning unit certainly isn’t cooling off.

Employees of a Hamptons Market Place at 356 East 13th Street switched off power to their entire building this morning, leaving 16 apartments without electricity for about an hour. Outraged tenants said it’s only the latest disruption that has been inflicted on them by the deli, which installed an air conditioner and ventilator unit on the roof that has bothered them to no end.

The owner of the deli, who has grown weary of a year of noise complaints, is so fed up that today he raised the possibility of a harassment suit against the tenants.

“I can’t get a psychiatrist to come into their apartments but I wish I could,” the owner, Victor Nagi said, later adding, “The tenants are harassing me. They’re complaining every other day and getting me these fines.” Read more…

Tribes Heads to State Supreme Court

A housing court judge ruled last week that the eviction of Gathering of the Tribes should be settled in State Supreme Court. The decision led the founder of the homegrown art and performance space, Steve Cannon, to express guarded optimism that he could reach an out-of-court settlement with his landlord, Lorraine Zhang, because the scope of the case now goes beyond a standard eviction proceeding. Ms. Zhang had no comment on the latest development in the case, which hinges on the validity of a written agreement she signed when Mr. Cannon sold her the East Third Street building that houses Tribes in 2004.