Tenants of Crown Heights apartment angry over lack of building repairs

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CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn -- The grand old apartment building at 805 St. Marks Ave., in Crown Heights, Brooklyn looks like any other in this neighborhood -- in spite of a revolving door of new owners.

What hasn’t changed are strong opinions from tenants, including Constance Nuccio, who are not too pleased with the quality of life here.

Constance, who did not want her face on camera, told us about several issues inside her studio apartment.

She says Akelius, the Swedish corporation that bought this building for $44 million back in May, has done a great job sprucing up the front courtyard.

But Constance feels Akelius is having a hard time keeping up with all of the repairs where it counts: inside the tenants’ apartments.

Tenants here says they’re concerned Akelius, which owns several billions dollars, that’s billions with a B, worth of real estate all over the world may only be doing just enough here to make the property attractive enough for a profitable flip, down the road.

“They’re trying to move us out of the neighborhood. That’s what I think, trying to move us out of the neighborhood. So that way they can have people pay a higher rent. Then it won’t be an issue. But it’s not fair,” said tenant Jake Hines.

We put the tenants’ concerns, and our questions to Akelius vice president, Kunal Chothani.

“Akelius is a long term property owner. The investment horizon, at the very least, is 10 years. So all the improvements that Akelius is making to the buildings are to sustain the longevity of the asset,” said Chothani.

Chothani acknowledges clearing the repair backlog remains a constant challenge.

Chothani added, “We agree, the building was in disrepair five months ago. And our staff on site, and our contractors have been working incredibly hard to bring the building up to par. And quite frankly, it still needs more improvements."

Meantime, Constance Nuccio gives Akelius, and the management company in charge of this building, credit for doing a better job than the last owner.

Still, she says at her age -- enough is enough.

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