I fell in love with my apartment the moment I saw it six years ago. It’s in a pre-war building that fills the entire block between 88th and 89th Streets on Lexington Avenue. I had walked by the building hundreds of times over the years and always thought it would be cool to live in it. The apartment has 9 1/2-foot ceilings, a fireplace in the living room, two spacious bedrooms and a dining room that we also use as a den. The place feels like a home, even though it’s a fraction of the size of a modest house elsewhere.
I love many of my neighbors, too, especially Carol and Chris and their three children, Tucker, Emerson and Sara.
Now many of us are being forced to leave our apartments, because a new owner is converting this rental building into condominiums. She wants us all out so she can reconfigure apartments, jazz up the lobby, build a roof garden and a gym and charge $2 million dollars per apartment.
Families who moved in just a couple of years ago are being booted out, a 70-year-old widow is being booted out, a couple with a new baby are being booted out. David and I are being booted out. We are not happy campers–or should I say renters–especially at the harsh way the owner is handling the situation. As leases come up, tenants get formal letters saying adios. It’s completely legal, but it’s completely infuriating.
Fortunately, 29 tenants who occupy “rent stabilized” apartments, and pay really low rents, can’t be booted out since they’ve lived her for decades and are protected by old rent laws. The owners will undoutedly try to get them out, too, by offering them oodles of money. I hope these tenants don’t budge unless they’re offered a cool million each.
I am all for people making money on their investments, but I detest heartless businesspeople who would run over their own mothers to make an extra buck.