Home News Greg Fournier’s Greenbrook Partners Settles Tenant Harassment Case

Greg Fournier’s Greenbrook Partners Settles Tenant Harassment Case

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Fred LeCao of Greenbrook (Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty and LinkedIn)

Greenbrook Partners has been in the unwanted spotlight since last year when the Park Slope building it acquired began tenancy. Fighting non-renewal notificationsThe tenant took Senator Charles Schumer for a walk from his nearby home, Join the October Protests.

Greg Fournier’s Manhattan-based real estate firm said it was already investigating tenant harassment and uncorrected building violations, and announced a settlement Wednesday.

The list of penalties and other sanctions is long, but the economic impact on the company, which owns 188 buildings containing about 1,000 units, may not be as severe as the press release suggests.

of settlement covers 22 of these buildings, and Greenbrook will be required to issue $7,500 rent credits to all tenants who moved into 10 of those buildings before July 1, 2021. Much more is covered for rent-stable units, which are common in Greenbrook buildings.

Fournier and Greenbrook also paid the city’s Department of Housing Conservation and Development $100,000 to hire external observers to oversee construction activity and compliance, remediating hundreds of violations in 22 buildings within 60 days. increase.

Between 2019 and 2021, Greenbrook purchased and began renovations on a number of buildings, primarily in Brooklyn. The company’s business model is to acquire underperforming properties, repair them, and raise rents.

That strategy didn’t work out for 70 Prospect Park West, an outdated, market-priced rental building on Park Slope’s most expensive corridor. opposed, sparking much news coverage, rallies of “evidence for cause” supporters, and public criticism from the Senate Majority Leaders.

However, HPD had launched a “blanket lawsuit” against Greenbrook a few months earlier in December. Then, perhaps prompted by publicity, city and state tenant harassment prevention task forces became involved and expanded the investigation.

The task forces include state attorneys general, the Department of Housing and Community Rehabilitation, and three city departments: Housing Preservation and Development, Buildings and Law.

Once Greenbrook purchased the building and took over management, some tenants complained of unsafe conditions, unauthorized construction, warehoused apartments, lack of maintenance and repairs, non-compliance with rent regulation requirements, and harassment. reported, officials said.

Task force finds Fournier and Greenbrook ‘engaged in’ dangerous negligent conduct in the ownership, management, and operation of buildings”, such as construction that sometimes did not provide tenants with water, heat, or gas.

The 22 buildings within the settlement, totaling 288 units, have 705 open code violations by HPD. Overall, Greenbrook’s portfolio has over 1,200 outstanding HPD violations and over 700 building violations. They include lead-based hazards, unsafe or exposed electrical wiring, leaky roofs, lack of cooking gas, pests, missing or defective smoke and carbon dioxide detectors, and unauthorized construction work. .

State officials did not disclose how many of these violations occurred prior to Greenbrook’s ownership.Company’s website Greenbrook “targets investments in poorly maintained, poorly managed, and undercapitalized properties in growth-oriented and transitional submarkets in New York City,” it said. We are upgrading our systems to make them more energy efficient.

green brook Partnership with Carlyle Group Purchased about 45 buildings in December. None of them appear to be involved in the Carlyle-free settlement.

“By postponing this settlement, we can focus on our long-term commitment to New York City and our much-needed investments in quality housing,” Greenbrook said in a statement. “Many abandoned the city during the pandemic, but we continued to invest in its physical and social future.”

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