Landlord at UWS building where scaffolding has been up 15 years has similar problems in other buildings


UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan — Thousands of Upper West Side residents say they’ve been kept in the dark for more than a decade, because their landlord erects sidewalk sheds and scaffolding and then never makes repairs.

They are sick and tired of it and are not going to take it anymore.

The tenants are now holding an emergency meeting to see what can be done.   

“It’s beyond ridiculous and just needs to be resolved,” one Upper West Side resident, who preferred not to give her name, told PIX11 News.      

Upper West Siders cannot believe the number of pedestrian sidewalk safety sheds in their neighborhood that have been up for more than a decade, with seemingly little façade work being done.        

“It is a perpetual nuisance,” said president of 51 West 86th Street Tenants Association Lianne Ritchie. “We face the street and there’s a security issue and it’s a quality of life issue. We haven’t seen the light of day for 15 years.”     

Ritchie is beyond frustrated with the shed that’s been up for 15 years and scaffolding up for close to a year with little work being done.      

A similar problem exists at 350 Central Park West, where the shed has been up almost as long.      

“Terrible. Its been here for so long and there hasn’t been any workmen here in years,” longtime tenant Mary Lee Rubens said.        

It turns out all of the buildings have something in common: a landlord.

The New York City Department of Buildings is equally exasperated, fining the landlord Jake Weinreb for sheds and scaffolding with no work being done. It amounts to close to $109,000 in fines at 51 West 86th Street, another $60,000 for 350 Central Park West and $65,000 at another Weinreb building at 777 West End Avenue.         

DOB spokesman Andrew Rudansky sent PIX11 News a statement in response to the charges.

“We are currently reviewing these properties to determine whether enhanced enforcement strategies may be necessary to compel the owners to make the necessary façade repairs.”     

Tenant leaders have gotten Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer to send off a letter to try to hold Weinreb accountable to someone.        

“Someone has to prosecute him to secure payment of the fines,” said Vice President of the Tenants Association at 51 West 86th Street David Rosen. “Maybe he’s deceiving the city and lying to the public about what’s going on.”            

PIX11 News has been unsuccessful in several attempts to reach Weinreb.

There will be an emergency meeting of the executive committee of the Tenants Association at 51 West 86th Street on Saturday morning to strategize what the next steps should be.  

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